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Attendance at School

As well as being a legal requirement, it is vital to children’s learning, wellbeing and happiness at school that they have the best possible attendance. The school encourages good attendance for all pupils in line with Barnet and National expectations.

Where there are occasional exceptional circumstances or difficulties impacting on attendance, the school strongly requests that families discuss these with the headteacher.


School times

The Infant Playground opens at 8.45am and a parent/childminder will need to supervise your child until the school day starts at 8.55am.

The Junior playground is supervised from 8.45am and your child should be in the playground by 8:50am.


What happens if my child is late?

It is unsettling and sometimes upsetting for children if they arrive late at school and miss the start of the day. The register is taken promptly as soon as the class is in their classroom. If your child arrives between 8.55am - 9.10am they will be marked ‘late before the close of registers.’ Pupils who arrive after registration should report to the office to be signed in.

Where children arrive after 9.10am they will be marked as ‘late’ and will be an unauthorised absence unless there is a valid reason for this lateness.

Some reasons that are not accepted as reasons for late arrival are:

  • Traffic – unless it is known that there is a problem on the local roads, which means that other children and staff will arrive late.
  • Oversleeping – either from a late night or parents sleeping through the alarm.
  • Nowhere to park.
  • Birthdays (opening presents etc).

Does the school need letters explaining my child’s absence or will a phone call do?

We would expect a parent to telephone or email the school on the first day of absence before the start of the school day. Please email The school then needs an explanation for each further day of absence either by email, letter or phone. If we do not receive an explanation or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence, and this will be noted on your child’s end of year report and school record.


What reasons does the school accept for absence?

  • Genuine illness.
  • Unavoidable medical/dental appointments.
  • Day of religious observance
  • Family bereavement.
  • Participation in approved public performance or sporting activity.


What is an unacceptable reason for absence?

The school will not authorise absences for:

  • Day trips
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Visiting relatives
  • Relatives visiting
  • Parental illness
  • Looking after siblings
  • Practising for exams
  • (This list is not exhaustive)


Medical Appointments

Please make medical, dental and optician appointments outside of school hours wherever possible - school holidays are a good opportunity to book dentist and optician appointments ahead of time. Barnet schools are working with local health organisations to prioritise appointments for children out of school hours. The school acknowledges that sometimes an urgent appointment, particularly a hospital appointment is unavoidable during school hours.

In cases of medical/dental appointments children are expected to return to school following the appointment and attend school before the appointment. We may ask to see proof of any medical/dental appointments in order for us to authorise the absence eg. appointment card, copy of prescription, screenshot of doctor’s notes. In cases of recurring absences for illness you may be asked to produce a medical certificate.


Will the school contact me if my child is absent?

Staff will make every effort to telephone families where children have failed to attend school in time for morning registration. However, it should be noted that you are still expected to contact the school yourself on the first day of your child’s absence.


Leave of absence requests

We are not permitted to authorise leave of absence for holidays during term time. Parents may request permission for an absence in exceptional circumstances. Permission must be sought in writing, well in advance (3 weeks minimum) for any known absence of one day or more giving details of the reasons for your request. An absence request form (available from the school office) must be completed and returned to the school office. Permission needs to be granted before any arrangements are made, including travel arrangements. Please note, the Headteacher has the right to refuse your request for leave of absence having given consideration to:

  • The reason for the request and any relevant documentation
  • Previous requests for term time absence
  • The timing within the school year
  • Overall attendance of your child
  • Term time leave will not be routinely authorised where attendance is below 96% which is the National Expectation on attendance.

If an absence request is not authorised and your child is still not in school, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and a fixed penalty notice might be issued.


Will Religious Observance days be authorised?

Religious observance days will always be authorised in line with Barnet’s approved dates. Extra days tagged on before or after the religious observance days will not be authorised unless in exceptional circumstances and only at the Headteacher’s discretion. These will be treated as “Leave of Absence”, as detailed above.