Fakenham Infants and Nursery School


  • Fakenham Infant and Nursery School is committed to providing a full and enriching education to all pupils and embraces the concept of equal opportunities for all.
  • We will provide an environment where all pupils feel valued and welcome.
  • For a child to reach their full educational achievement a high level of school attendance is essential. Ideally we would want children to achieve 100% attendance.  Every opportunity will be used to convey to pupils and their parents or carers the importance of regular and punctual attendance.
  • School attendance is subject to various education laws and our school attendance policy is written to reflect these laws and the guidance produced by the Department for Education.
  • Each year the school will examine its attendance figures and set attendance/absence targets. These will reflect both national and Norfolk attendance targets.  Strategies for improving attendance will be regularly reviewed.

School Procedures

  • Any child who is absent from school at the morning or afternoon registration period must have their absence recorded as being authorised, unauthorised or as an approved educational activity (attendance out of school).
  • Only the head teacher or a member of staff acting on their behalf can authorise absence.  If there is no known reason for the absence at registration, then the absence must be recorded in the first instance as unauthorised.


  • Morning registration will take place at the start of school (8.55am). If a child arrives between 8.55 a.m. and 9.15 a.m then this is recorded as late. The registers will remain open for 20 minutes until 9.15am.
  • Any pupil arriving after this time will be marked as having an unauthorised absence for the morning session unless there is an acceptable explanation.  In cases for example, where the absence at registration was for attending an early morning medical appointment, the appropriate authorised code will be entered.
  • The afternoon registration for reception and Year 1 children will be at 1.05 pm.  The registers will close at 1.15pm.
  • The afternoon registration for year 2 children will be at 1.20pm.  The registers will closed at 1.30pm.

First Day Absence

  • Parents are expected to contact the school on the child’s first day of absence providing details for the absence. There is an answer phone facility which is checked every morning.
  • This will be recorded in the orange attendance book in the register files. If no contact has been received, the school will make telephone contact with the parent.
  • Contact will be made by the school office, if the school has been unable to make contact, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.

Third Day Absence

  • If the child is still absent the parents are asked to contact the school again to confirm the reason for absence. 
  • If the child is still absent and there has been no contact from the parent, or the parent has been unable to be contacted a standard letter will be sent, requesting that the parents contact the school immediately.
  • In certain circumstances there is a possibility that the school will contact the police or children's services. A member of the school staff may make a house call to check on the welfare of the child.
  Continuing Absence
  •  If there is continuing absence without explanation, a further letter will be sent to the parents.

 Ten Days Absence

  • Any pupil who is absent without an explanation for 10 consecutive days will be notified to the Local Authority, by submitting a referral to the Children’s Services Attendance Team. 
  • The school will include details of the action that they have taken.  This is a legal requirement.

 Frequent Absence

  • It is the responsibility of school office staff to be aware of and bring attention to, any emerging attendance concerns.
  • In cases where a pupil begins to develop a pattern of absences, the schools Pastoral Support Worker will seek early contact with parents to discuss the matter will try to resolve the problem with the parent/s. If this is unsuccessful the school will refer to the School Nursing Team if the problem appears to be a medical one.
  • In the matter remains unresolved the school will seek advice from the school’s Attendance Improvement Officer (AIO).

A Welcome Back

  • It is important that on return from an absence all pupils are made to feel welcome.

Absence notes

  • Notes received from parents explaining absence should be kept for the remainder of the academic year.
  • If there are attendance concerns about the pupil, that may require further investigation, then the notes may need to be retained for a longer period.
  • Letters outlining medical appointments may be required.

 Promoting attendance

  • The school will use opportunities as they arise to remind parents/carers, that it is their responsibility to ensure that their children receive their education.  This will be done through our newsletter, meetings with parents and convening Attendance Panels.
  • The Home/School agreement states the importance of good attendance.

 Holidays in term time

  • This leave of absence will be unauthorised, the school still needs to be made aware of the intended dates for which the pupil(s) will not be in attendance, so that our records can be maintained.
  • You will be aware that reduced attendance can have serious consequences for a child’s learning and progress.  It is not always possible to catch up on all the work missed. The local authority has reviewed the criteria for penalty notices. The details are as follows:-
  • 15% or more unauthorised absence for reasons other than a term-time holiday within a 6 week period  OR
  • Where in a 12 week period there are unauthorised absence bringing attendance below 90% and some or all of the absence may be attributed to an unauthorised holiday in term-time

 Attendance Awards

  • The school will use the following system to reward pupils who have good or improving attendance. ‘Be There Bear’ is awarded to the class that has the best attendance that week.  This will be awarded during our Monday Thinking Time. Children who have achieved 100% attendance the previous week, will go into a draw for a special pencil.
  • We will also be giving 100% attendance certificates, which will be awarded half termly, termly and yearly.

Attendance Targets

  • The school sets attendance targets each year with our School Improvement Partner.  The Head Teacher will report attendance issues to the Governing Body in Head Teacher’s reports, at least termly so progress against targets set can be monitored. 
  • Our target for 2016/17 is 96%.

Appendix A

The Registration System

  • The School will use manual paper registers and a computerised system for keeping the school attendance records.
  • The  national codes will be used to record attendance information.
  • Registers by law must be kept for at least three years.
  • Computer registers must be printed out at least once a month and bound into annual volumes.
  • Entries in paper registers must be in ink.
  • All corrections must be visible (no correcting fluid).

 Register Security

  • The registers must be safely stored.
  • When they have been completed at the beginning of each session, they will be kept in the school office.

Appendix B

1. The Law
  • The Education Act 1996 Part 1, Section 7 states:
  • The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable-
  • (a)   to his age, ability and aptitude and
  • (b)   to any special needs he may have.
  • Either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
  • For educational purposes the term parent is used to include those that have parental responsibility and/or those that have the day to day care of the child.
  • The legislation that appertains to children who are of compulsory school age and are registered at school is contained within this Act.
  • Part VI section 444 contains the details of when an offence is committed if a child fails to attend school.
  • Register and Admission Roll keeping.
  • The legal requirements are found in:
  • The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006

Categorisation of Absence

Any pupil who is on roll but not present in the school must be recorded within one of these categories.
  1. Unauthorised Absence –this is for those pupils where no reason has been provided, or whose absence is deemed to be without valid reason.
  2. Authorised Absence  – this is for those pupils who are away from school for a reason that is deemed to be valid under the Education Act 1996. 
  3.  Approved Educational Activity – this covers types of supervised educational activity undertaken off site but with the approval of the school.
Note:  Pupils recorded in this category are deemed to be present for attendance returns purposes.
This would include:
  • Field trips and educational visits
  • Sporting activities
  • Link courses or approved education off site
  • Most types of dual registration

 School Attendance

2015/16 - 96.1% Current year to date - 95.5% (inc. medical absences)