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School Attendance Matters

Every moment in school counts and days missed add up quickly. Evidence shows that pupils who have good attendance enjoy better wellbeing and school performance than those who don't.

At Wordsworth Primary school we have been working hard to improve our attendance and are pleased to say that our overall attendance to date for this academic year (2024) is  94.6% which is within national guidelines.

All children are expected to attend school EVERYDAY throughout the academic year in order to maximise their learning opportunities. We hope that everyone will join us in attempting to improve this year by following the guidelines below:

School Opening Times

School gates open at 8.40am until 8.50am; please ensure your child arrives in between those times. Children should be in classes ready to start their learning at 8.55am.

After 8.50am, children must enter the school via the main school office to be signed in.  If your child arrives after 9.15am, they will be marked as unauthorised absence for the morning session.

Celebrating Attendance

We reward good attendance with class certificates on a weekly basis, and it is celebrated in an assembly.  Each week the class with the highest attendance receives our attendance certificate and every child is recognised for their winning class attendance. 

Attendance Superstars 

On a weekly basis, one child from every year group is recognised for their commitment to learning and celebrating their success for improved attendance & punctuality.

Notification of Absence

Attendance Matters

It can be tricky to decide whether to keep your child absent from school when they are unwell. As a parent, when thinking should I keep my child off school due to mild illness? please use the NHS link below to support with making the right decision.


We know that illness is unavoidable and to be expected. However, it is very important to inform the school on the first day of absence with the reason either by telephone (023 8077 6397) by 9:30am or in person at the school office. Medicine can be given to children at school as long as a medicine form is completed and all medicines must be in their original boxes.

We expect ALL appointments, with the exception of hospital appointments, to be made outside of normal school hours.

What if my child is too anxious to go to school?  

Children can sometimes feel a little bit worried about going to school. Mostly, this is a very normal emotion.

It’s important to recognise that going into school can help children to feel less worried than letting them stay at home.

If your child is anxious over several weeks, talk to us about how we can support you.

We have put together some useful links on the Education Hub on mental health support which you may find helpful.


If you wish to take your child out of school for any period of time, a leave of absence form (available from the office only) should be completed and returned to Mrs Smith, our Attendance Lead.

Please be aware that holiday requests can no longer be authorised. We will only be able to authorise leave of absence in exceptional circumstances.

There may be occasions when a child needs to leave the premises in school time for appointments. It is helpful if the school can be advised in advance and parents are asked to come to the main office to sign their child out. Children are never released from school unaccompanied.

By law, the Governors are required to report on the number of unauthorised absences each year. It is therefore very important to keep the school informed of the reasons for all absences. Attendance is monitored by the Headteacher and the Jeffery's Education Partnership (JEP), which includes regular visits from the JEP Attendance Support Officer who monitors attendance and punctuality. Very low attendance can lead to fixed penalty notices.

Fixed Penalty Notices

Fixed Penalty notices were introduced by Southampton Local Authority in September 2005 as an alternative prosecution.

All students who have 10 sessions (i.e 5 days) of unauthorised absence may be liable to receive a fixed penalty notice which incurs a monetary penalty per parent, per child.

Managing Attendance

All of the schools within the Jeffery's Education Partnership have agreed template letters and protocols for managing attendance.

On a half-term basis or as required letters are sent out to parents of those pupils falling below certain levels. This approach is applied across the whole school regardless of the child's age. A child does not become compulsory school aged until they turn 5, however, once a child has been admitted to school they are filling a school place and are expected to attend every day possible. Ofsted place a high level of importance on school attendance and hence so do we as a school. The below protocol allows the school to ensure that they can evidence to Ofsted that we manage attendance effectively.

The schools within Jeffery's Education Partnership have two agreed threshold or distributions of letters to parents and guardians:

  • Attendance falls below 95%- Letter sent that makes parents aware that their child's attendance has fallen below this level. The child's registration certificate is included with this letter. The letter clearly states that this is provided for information only. The school sends this letter out at regular intervals throughout the year to ensure that any discrepancies in the attendance data of a child can be discussed at an early juncture and rectified prior to publication of the end of year academic pupil reports.
  • Attendance falls below 90%- when a child's attendance falls below 90% they are classified as a persistent absentee. At this point it becomes necessary for the school to report on the child's absence to the Attendance Support Officer at the Jeffery's Education Partnership. The school sends this template letter to parents or guardians to make them aware that this will happen. This letter also reminds parents or guardians of their legal duties regarding school attendance.

When the school has concerns of a serious nature a meeting with the Inclusion Lead and the Attendance Lead  to discuss and to establish how we can support the family to improve attendance. If necessary the school will refer attendance concerns to the Jeffery's Education Partnership Attendance Support Officer.

For information and guidance about Attendance, please click here to access Southampton City Council's website.

A copy of our attendance policy can be found below: