Where everyone is valued and futures matter!

At Girnhill Infant School we work closely with parents and carers to achieve and maintain high standards of attendance. For a child to reach their full educational achievement coming to school every day is essential. We are committed to providing an education of the highest quality for all our children in an environment where all pupils feel welcome and valued. Every child has a right to access the education to which he/she is entitled.

It is our duty to consistently strive to achieve a goal of 100% attendance for all children. We use every opportunity to convey to pupils and their parents or carers the importance of regular and punctual attendance. For our children to take full advantage of the educational opportunities offered it is vital a child is at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. High attainment, confidence with peers and staff and future aspirations depend on good attendance.

As set down by the Department for Education, schools are only able to authorise absence from school in exceptional circumstances. When requesting an authorised absence from school you will need to explain why the circumstances are exceptional. Please note there is no general right to authorise absence for a family holiday and if you take your child out of school without permission the absence will be unauthorised and a Penalty Notice may be considered.

Girnhill Infant School celebrates excellent attendance in lots of different ways

Every half term pupil’s will receive a traffic light card showing where they are in relation to their attendance for that half term.

Green – 100% attendance

Yellow – 97%-99%

Red – below 97% attendance

  • SAM (School Attendance Matters) dog is our school attendance mascot. He is taken home weekly by the class with the best attendance.
  • We have termly attendance assemblies for parents/carers and certificates for 100% attendance are presented to pupils.
  • Each class has a “Perfect” attendance banner on their classroom window, when all 7 letters are completed (a letter for each day every child is in class) a reward is chosen for the class to share.
  • SAM the dog regularly visits pupils and classes who have excellent attendance for picnics, hot chocolate, ice pops and much more…

If your child’s attendance is under 95%, they are missing at least two weeks of learning time a year. If their attendance is at 90%, they are missing four weeks. This will significantly affect their work and reduce their grades.


The responsibilities in relation to attendance are as follows:-

  • To work with parents to encourage regular attendance and punctuality of their child.
  • A record of attendance must be kept giving the exact reason for the child’s absence.
  • If no reason is provided by parents (by telephone, in person, in writing) the absence will be recorded as unauthorised (DfES class this as truancy) and will remain on the child’s record.
  • If your child is absent, it may be that school will contact you to establish the reason for absence.
  • The school will promote and encourage good attendance via its reward system.
  • The school and Education Welfare Officer will conduct attendance checks throughout each half term.
  • Children with poor attendance records and lateness will be monitored and followed up by the academy and/or Education Welfare Officer. In extreme cases absence could lead to official warnings or even prosecution and fines. This information can be transferred to the high schools.

As a parent, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that your child:

  • Attends regularly
  • Arrives at school on time Please make sure that your child leaves home on time, if travelling any distance please allow ample time for traffic or other delays.

Nursery doors open at 8:45 and 12:45 The classroom door opens at 8.50 am, morning registration begins at 8.50 am and closes at 9.00 am, and children who are not registered in class by 9.00 am will be marked as late in the register. The school allows for 10 late marks over the academic year. Any more will result in a penalty notice being issued. If a child arrives after 9.10, the child will receive a U mark, this means your child arrived after the registers closed. This equates to a single session of unauthorised absence.

Any children who are dropped off by parents at school late must be brought into school by a parent so they can be signed in. This is to ensure that accurate reasons for lateness are recorded, and also to ensure that children arrive safely in school.

  • To arrive at school, on time everyday with correct equipment and ready to learn.
  • Comply with school regulations regarding attendance and punctuality.
  • Discuss any concerns they may have with staff regarding attendance and punctuality.
Education Welfare Service
  • The Education Welfare Service will work in partnership to promote and facilitate improved attendance, at an individual level, by supporting the Fast Track to Attendance Programme; and at a whole school level using proactive strategies and action plans.
  • The Education Welfare Service will work with children and families to ensure their school attendance and safeguarding is maintained.
  • The Education Welfare Service will provide guidance with regards to Children Missing Education.
  • The Education Welfare Service will work in partnership with other agencies and will offer advice and signposting for referrals to appropriate organisations.
  • The Education Welfare Service will undertake legal action on behalf of the school.
  • Wakefield Local Authority will support the school with networking and training events and with individual School Audits and Action Plans.
Why is good attendance & punctuality so important?

The Facts

  • Taking 10 days absence for family holidays in an academic year means that the maximum attendance your child can achieve is 94.7%.
  • Girnhill Infant School expects that ALL children will achieve a minimum of 97% attendance regardless of their year group. Every stage of a child’s education is of equal importance.
  • Regular attendance at school is a legal requirement and it is vital if your child is to benefit fully from their education.
  • Any absence can disrupt your child’s education, whether through illness or holidays in term time.
  • Everyday your child is absent they miss important lessons (summer born children already have 2 full terms less than autumn born children)
  • It is very easy to fall behind with work, but very difficult to catch up.
  • Having an education will give your child the best possible start in life.
  • Two weeks absence means that your child loses 60 hours of learning which they can never get back. Your child could miss a whole topic which will not be revisited.
  • A two week holiday during term time every year of your child’s life equals almost two full terms of education missed over their whole school career.
  • Friendships suffer – during two weeks absence social groups change – your child may not fit back into the same friendship group on his/her return.