Eastchurch CofE Primary School

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4.13

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School Attendance – What you need to know


At Eastchurch Primary School we expect children to achieve 100% attendance which means arriving at school on time, every day when the school is open.


We recognise that some pupils find it harder to attend school. Therefore, we will work with you and your child to remove barriers to attendance by building strong and trusting relationships and working together to put the right support in place.


Attending school regularly gives your child the best possible start in life. It enables them to keep up with their learning and form good habits in preparation for the future. 


As a parent or guardian, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child attends school regularly and arrives on time.



If your child is going to be absent from school you must notify us by email, phone or dojo message before 9.30am on each day of absence.


Absence due to illness which has not been reported to the school may be recorded as an unauthorised absence.


If we believe that the illness is not genuine, or if there are persistent sickness absences affecting a child’s attendance you will be asked to supply supporting evidence for the period of illness. In these cases, you do not supply evidence of the illness, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.



Medical and dental appointments should be made out of school time. Where appointments during school time are unavoidable, the child should be absent for as short a period of time as possible.


Absences for medical or dental appointments will only be authorised if you have provided the school office with sight of or a copy of the appointment card or letter.



Requests for holidays during term time need to be submitted to the Headteacher in writing or by emailing office@eastchurch.school. All requests for holidays during term time will be responded to in writing by the school giving details of whether or not a Penalty Notice will be issued for the absence.


The Headteacher can only approve absences from school classed as Exceptional Circumstances.


The Department for Education does not consider a need or desire for a holiday in term time to be an exceptional circumstance.



Arriving late to school is embarrassing for children and means they miss key information at the start of their day. 


Children are welcomed into school at 8.30am and the gates close promptly at 8.45am when the register is taken. Children arriving between 8.45am and 9.15am will receive a late mark for that session. Children arriving after 9.15am will receive an unauthorised mark for that session. 


Unauthorised Absences

All sessions recorded as an unauthorised absence are reported to Kent County Council.


Penalty Notices may be issues where a child has 10 or more sessions (5 or more days) recorded as unauthorised absence. This includes absences due to lateness after the registers have closed, illness or medical appointments where evidence has not been supplied, and holidays taken during term-time.


If our supportive approach has not resulted in an improvement in your child’s attendance, a referral will be made to Kent County Council. There are a number of enforcement options which may then be taken. You can find more information about this in our Attendance Policy


Please be aware that from 19th August 2024 the Department for Education has introduced changes to penalty notices:


Only 2 penalty notices can be issued to the same parent in respect of the same child within a 3 year rolling period and any second notice within that period is charged at a higher rate:


The first penalty notice issued to a parent in respect of a particular pupil will be charged at £160 if paid within 28 days. This will be reduced to £80 if paid within 21 days.


A second penalty notice issued to the same parent in respect of the same pupil is charged at a flat rate of £160 if paid within 28 days.


A third penalty notice cannot be issued to the same parent in respect of the same child within 3 years of the date of issue of the first. In a case where the national threshold is met for a third time (or subsequent times) within those 3 years, alternative action should be taken instead. This will often include considering prosecution, but may include other tools such as one of the other attendance legal interventions.


Rewards and Incentives

At Eastchurch Primary School we believe in celebrating success and therefore have rewards and incentives in place to support children with their attendance.


Every Friday, we celebrate the class achieving the highest attendance for the previous week. This class receives a certificate and the opportunity for our Attendance Mascot, On-time Ollie, to spend a week in their class with them.


Every child that achieves 100% attendance each term will receive a certificate and entry into a raffle which is drawn on the last day of term.


Children achieving 100% attendance for the year will receive their certificate and a small prize, as well as entry into a raffle which could win them a much bigger prize.


Our Attendance Officer provides personalised incentives for pupils finding school attendance difficult and works with them to overcome their barriers to attending school.


If you need support with your child’s attendance please email office@eastchurch.school