GSO Test

Absence and Attendance

The staff and governors of St Giles Primary School believe that regular attendance and punctuality are essential for success at school and later in life.

Encouraging this reflects the school’s concern for the welfare of pupils and is considered to be the responsibility of parents/carers, pupils, the school staff, governors and the Local Education Authority.

The importance of good attendance

Good attendance has a big impact on pupil progress and attainment.

An attendance rate of 95%+ across the school is considered ‘good’ by Ofsted. We strive to achieve this for every child and will make parents aware if it falls below this level. Whilst we do not wish pupils to come into school when ill, we do expect pupils to attend when their illness is minor. We will always send pupils home if we see they are unwell. 

We also urge you to think very carefully before taking your child out of school during term time for family breaks or a holiday. 

The reason we need to work together to improve attendance is that research shows that there is a clear link between good attendance and good attainment, or conversely poor attendance and poor attainment.

To give you a bit of context as to what the attendance percentages mean:-

95% absence means your child has missed 10 days or 2 weeks of teaching over the school year.

90% absence means your child has missed 20 days or 4 weeks of teaching over the school year.

85% absence means your child has missed 30 days or 6 weeks of teaching over the school year.

80% absence means your child has missed 40 days or 8 weeks of teaching over the school year.

Catching up on 2 weeks missed learning is possible, beyond this it becomes much more difficult for teachers to ensure gaps in learning are made up, this is when children fall behind and there is a danger that children  do not reach their full potential. Ongoing poor attendance has a cumulative effect and means there is a danger of pupils falling even further behind with every year of low attendance. 

Link to DfE research here 


If your child is ill, you should phone the school office and leave a message - 01825 790240

If you wish to discuss this with the office staff, please press the appropriate option. Likewise, if a child is ill at school we will contact you to let you know.

Should a child need to be absent for any reason apart from illness we ask that you fill in a ‘request for absence’ form stating the dates and reasons. In response, you will receive a letter informing you whether the request has been authorised or not.

Please note that we are unable to authorise any term time holidays - this is a nationwide ruling.

Pupils missing more than 10 sessions (5 days) from school within a 10-week period could be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) issued by the Education Welfare Service at West Sussex.

Absence and Attendance Policy

Absence request forms can be downloaded here

Information on when to keep your child at home here and here

Withdrawal from PE

Should your child need to be excused from PE lessons for any reason this should be detailed in a note or email sent to the school office, and if possible copied to the class teacher.

This information is passed on to sports coaches if necessary.

Children who are not able to take part in PE lessons, forest school or swimming will be set work to complete in another class.

Withdrawal from RE and collective worship

Parents have the right to withdraw their pupils from both RE lessons and collective worship. If you wish to do so, please make an appointment to see the headteacher to discuss the matter.