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Great Alne Primary School


School attendance is - to put it simply - a massive priority for us at Great Alne.

Nationally, attendance is a hot topic, due to observations of the data over the last few years and the impact this has had on children’s learning and social, emotional and mental-health needs.

Nationally, in 2019, 10.9% of children were persistently absent from school.

In 2021 this was 12.1%.

By 2023 this had risen to 22.3%. (This is not a misprint!)

Needless to say, it is very important that children attend school. Regular attendance at school means that your child can settle in, make and develop friendships, and then be set for taking in the learning and successfully staying firmly in control of their education.

Late arrivals or early departures have a significant effect on children’s learning too. Settling into class with a predictable routine helps to manage anxiety and understand what is happening in lessons every day.  At Great Alne Primary, we offer flexible drop-off between 8.40am and 8.55am to help traffic flow and minimise disruption for residents. School officially starts at 8.55am. 

School will always be understanding and compassionate about medical appointments and illnesses. These are obviously unavoidable and we trust parents to know when children are well enough to come to school or not. Most parents send children to school with minor ailments in the knowledge that we will call if we have any doubts about their fitness for lessons. 

For specific absence periods (e.g. vomiting, mumps, chickenpox etc) we work to the following Public Health guidance to keep all other children and adults safe.

Where absences concern parents making a choice for children to miss school to attend other events, we will only authorise absence in exceptional circumstances. Parents should not disrupt children’s routine by taking holidays in term time but we strongly encourage you to come and talk to us about plans that involve major life events such as close family weddings or funerals. It will help you to understand the reasons for our decision making.

The Education Regulations 2006 explains in law that a school’s headteacher is only to authorise leave of absence in exceptional circumstances. In the interests of fairness for all, parents should not expect the headteacher to break this law. If a leave of absence is granted, please contact school to discuss measures to minimise the impact of the absence on your child's academic progress.


Example scenarios:

The following scenarios are all fairly common. Hopefully you can use these to understand the likelihood of your absence being authorised before booking or committing to payment for any trips. 

  1. A request for leave of absence for one week to take advantage of lower prices for a family holiday. This is not exceptional and would be not be authorised.
  2. A request for leave of absence for one day at a family wedding in Studley. This would be authorised.
  3. A request for leave of absence for three days to attend a family funeral in Scotland. This would be authorised. A day for the funeral and two days for travelling there and back. 
  4. A request for two weeks in Spain during which the family will learn about the local sights and customs. This would not be authorised as the circumstances are not exceptional and could be done in the school holidays.
  5. A request for 20 school days in Japan during which a family wedding is due to take place. Three days would be authorised for travel and the wedding. The remaining 17 days would not be authorised.

If you have any other questions regarding attendance, please contact Mr Penn. The school’s governor responsible for monitoring attendance is Mr Nick Thompson.