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Attendance, Absence and Lateness


It has long been recognised that academic success is built upon a sound foundation of good attendance. As a school we have a shared legal responsibility with parents and carers to ensure that all children attend school regularly.


At least 97% attendance is the target set by the Department for Education, to encourage all children to reach their full potential.  Rickleton Primary uses ‘attendance zones’ to offer support, at an early stage, to those experiencing difficulties.


Red - below 91%    Amber - 92% - 96%     Green 97% - 100% 

Attendance is tracked on a weekly basis to monitor children within the above zones.

During the Autumn and Spring term, attendance is monitored and attendance which falls below 97% may be subject to a monitoring period.


Attendance support for pupils and parents

As a school, we appreciate that the vast majority of parents want their children to be in school regularly. We can offer parents and children a variety of support to help them achieve this. Absence from school can become a habit for a variety of reasons - please work with us to help overcome some of these barrier.


Support for all:

At any time, situations may change, meaning a child shows a keenness to stay at home rather than attend school. This may be linked to illness, a change or worry at home, in school worries linked to friendship/work/ upcoming events etc. Please involve school at the earliest opportunity to help your child over come these barriers before staying off school becomes a habit. We can offer all children and families:


- Contact with class teachers via ClassDojo to find out answers and solutions to any in school concerns.

- Contact with Mrs Price or Mr Baker via the office email ( for larger concerns.

- Medical guidance - the office staff will be happy to talk through signs of illness and whether your child should or shouldn't attend.

- Parent meeting - parents are welcome to request a meeting with teachers or leaders at any time to discuss home situations and support which can be offered.

- Emergency child care - if a situation arises out of the blue which might affect your ability to drop off or collect your child, please contact the school office who may be able to arrange emergency care via Rickleton+.

- Financial or social support - our school Family Support Worker has a wide range of knowledge and skills to support families to ensure children are able to access their education. Andre Sowerby works in school on a Wednesday and Thursday but can be contacted outside of these our by speaking to the office. 


When percentage triggers are hit, school has a duty to approach the family to begin ensuring that attendance begins to improve as quickly as possible. Each of these trigger levels prompts a government guided letter to be sent to parents as a legal obligation. Whilst school work to personalise as much of this letter as possible, some of the content is not optional. The aim of all attendance communication is to make families aware that trigger points have been met and then open communication to support families and children with attendance.


Example letters are shown below and, whilst they will be tailored to suit the situation, the vast majority of information in each is mandatory:



Weekly Attendance

Our whole school aim is to achieve 97% or higher attendance.  Each week we celebrate the class in each key stage with the highest attendance.

To report your child late or absent, please call the school office on 0191 4155050 prior to the start of the school day at 8.55am.


We recognise and reward good attendance in a variety of ways at Rickleton Primary School. One example of that is the 'Race to Five'.  The class with the highest weekly attendance gets to display a star on the attendance board and the first class to receive 5 gets extra playtime.



Should a pupil be absent due to illness, please telephone the school office by 9am to notify us of the reason for absence. We would expect parents / carers to update us on a daily basis should it be an ongoing absence.

If we are not notified of the reason for absence, a text will be sent out requesting that the parent / carer telephone to update us. If there is no response to the text, the school office will make a follow up phone call that morning to parents / carers for a reason. If there is no notification by the parent / carer, the absence will be unauthorised. We may follow up with a home visit by our Pastoral Support Office.


The link below offers advice based on government guidelines to support parents in understanding whether certain illnesses mean their child can or can't attend school. 


Should my child go to school or nursery today? :: North East and North Cumbria Healthier Together (



Pupils arriving at school after the doors have closed at 8.55am should enter through the main entrance and school office staff will record their name, time and reason for lateness. A late mark is entered in the register. School will monitor lateness to look for patterns that may be of concern.

If pupils arrive after 9.30am, when teaching has commenced, they will be given an unauthorised late mark and this will show on their attendance as an absence for that session.


Being late to school can have a considerable impact over the whole school year. The table below identifies just how much time can be missed over a year just by being 5 minutes late to school every day:


 5 minutes late every day = 3 days of school lost a year


10 minutes late every day = 6.5 days of school lost a year


15 minutes late every day = 10 days of school lost a year


20 minutes late every day = 13 days of school lost a year


30 minutes late every day = 19 days of school lost a year