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Number of days absent by the end of the year Number of lessons missed Absence percentage Overall attendance percentage
1 5 0.5% 99.5%
5 25 2.5% 97.5%
10 50 5% 95%
20 100 10% 90%
30 150 15% 85%


If a child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. 

Being frequently late for school also adds up to lost learning:

  • Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over 3 days lost each year
  • Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year
  • Arriving 30 minutes late is the same as being absent for 19 days a year

19 days lost a year through being late = 90% attendance.

Late arriving pupils disrupt lessons, can be embarrassed or anxious and this can also encourage absenteeism.

Good time keeping is a vital life skill which will help our children as they progress through their school life and out into the wider world.

Penalty Notice – Leave of Absence in term time 
What is a Leave of Absence in term time?

A leave of absence is where parents or carers of a child decide to take their child out of school during term time. This may include holidays, religious observance, child performance and funeral amongst others.

What does the law say?

Regulation 7(1) of the Education (Pupil Registration)(England) Regulation 2006 states;

‘leave of absence may only be granted by a person authorised in that behalf by the proprietor of the school’

Schools may therefore grant a leave of absence in term time, but only if they consider it exceptional circumstances.

Any application for a leave of absence must be made in advance and if granted, it is for the school to determine the number of days a pupil can be away from school.

What are exceptional circumstances?

Neither the regulations nor the Department of Education define what might be considered exceptional circumstances.

It may include serious or terminal illness of a close relative, significant family trauma, a major family event like a relatives wedding or a one-off never to repeated experience. These events are examples only and it is for the school to decide if they consider any request to be exceptional circumstances.

How do I make an application for a Leave of Absence?

A leave of absence form (LOAF) can be obtained from the school office.

All applications must be made in advance of the leave and parents should give full details as to why they believe the application is exceptional circumstances.

Will my application just be dismissed?

No, all applications must be judged on their own merits. School will consider why the application has been made and balance this against the child’s record to ensure it does not have a negative impact on any educational progress.

School can for example take in a range of considerations before making a decision. This may include previous request, current attendance, school policy, attainment and progress, impending tests, exams or significant school events and frequency of applications.

How will I be informed about my application?

Parents will be informed in writing by the school if the leave of absence has been granted or not.

Can I appeal the schools decision?

No, there is no right of appeal, as the discretion to authorise is the schools alone.

Can I get a Penalty Notice if I take the leave without permission?

Yes, if your child has 5 days or more, in an academic year, due to a leave of absence then we will issue a penalty notice.

Who is responsible and what is the fine?

Each parent is individually responsible for the child’s attendance and commits a separate offence if the child does not attend school on a regular basis.

  • £60 payable within 21 days
  • £120 payable between the 22nd and 28th day.
If receive a Penalty Notice can I appeal it?

No, there is no right of appeal.

If however the penalty notice was issued to the wrong person, should not have been issued or contained material error, then we may withdraw it upon representations from you.

Can I speak someone about Penalty Notices?

Yes, PCC dedicated members of staff who you can contact on the number below. In addition to this there is additional information on their website:

Please address any queries to:

School Attendance Service
Floor 2, Core 1
Civic Offices
Telephone: 023 9284 1419
Fax: 023 9284 1725

Is my child too ill for school?

File:National Health Service (England) logo.svg - Wikipedia

Is my child too ill for school? 

It can be tricky deciding whether or not to keep your child off school, nursery or playgroup when they're unwell.

There are government guidelines for schools and nurseries about health protection and managing specific infectious diseases at GOV.UK. These say when children should be kept off school and when they shouldn't.

If you do keep your child at home, it's important to phone the school or nursery on the first day. Let them know that your child won't be in and give them the reason.

If your child is well enough to go to school but has an infection that could be passed on, such as a cold sore or head lice, let their teacher know.

What to do about other conditions

High temperature

If your child has a high temperature, keep them off school until it goes away.

Feeling anxious or worried

It's normal for children to feel a little anxious sometimes. They may get a tummy ache or headache, or have problems eating or sleeping.

Avoiding school can make a child's anxiety about going to school worse. It's good to talk about any worries they may have such as bullying, friendship problems, school work or sensory problems. You can also work with the school to find ways to help them.

If your child is still struggling and it's affecting their everyday life, it might be good to talk to your GP or school nurse.

Find information and advice about how to help children with anxiety

Coughs and colds

It's fine to send your child to school with a minor cough or common cold. But if they have a high temperature, keep them off school until it goes.

Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues and to wash their hands regularly.


If your child has chickenpox, keep them off school until all the spots have crusted over.

This is usually about 5 days after the spots first appeared.

Cold sores

There's no need to keep your child off school if they have a cold sore.

Encourage them not to touch the blister or kiss anyone while they have the cold sore, or to share things like cups and towels.


You don't need to keep your child away from school if they have conjunctivitis, unless they are feeling very unwell.

Do get advice from your pharmacist. Encourage your child not to rub their eyes and to wash their hands regularly.


If your child has mild symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, and feels well enough, they can go to school.

Your child should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and they either:

  • have a high temperature
  • do not feel well enough to go to school or do their normal activities

What to do if your child has tested positive

Your child is no longer required to do a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test if they have symptoms. But if your child has tested positive for COVID-19, they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test.

Ear infection

If your child has an ear infection and a high temperature or severe earache, keep them off school until they're feeling better or their high temperature goes away.

Hand, foot and mouth disease

If your child has hand, foot and mouth disease but seems well enough to go to school, there's no need to keep them off.

Encourage your child to throw away any used tissues straight away and to wash their hands regularly.

Head lice and nits

There's no need to keep your child off school if they have head lice.

You can treat head lice and nits without seeing a GP.


If your child has impetigo, they'll need treatment from a pharmacist or GP, often with antibiotics.

Keep them off school until all the sores have crusted over and healed, or for 48 hours after they start antibiotic treatment.

Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly and not to share things like towels and cups with other children at school.


If your child has measles, they'll need to see a GP. Call the GP surgery before you go in, as measles can spread to others easily.

Keep your child off school for at least 4 days from when the rash first appears.

They should also avoid close contact with babies and anyone who is pregnant or has a weakened immune system.


If your child has ringworm, see your pharmacist unless it's on their scalp, in which case you should see a GP.

It's fine for your child to go to school once they have started treatment.

Scarlet fever

If your child has scarlet fever, they'll need treatment with antibiotics from a GP. Otherwise they'll be infectious for 2 to 3 weeks.

Your child can go back to school 24 hours after starting antibiotics.

Slapped cheek syndrome (fifth disease)

You don't need to keep your child off school if they have slapped cheek syndrome because, once the rash appears, they're no longer infectious.

But let the school or teacher know if you think your child has slapped cheek syndrome.

Sore throat

You can still send your child to school if they have a sore throat. But if they also have a high temperature, they should stay at home until it goes away.


A sore throat and a high temperature can be symptoms of tonsillitis.


You don't need to keep your child off school if they have threadworms. Speak to your pharmacist, who can recommend a treatment.

Vomiting and diarrhoea

Children with diarrhoea or vomiting should stay away from school until they have not been sick or had diarrhoea for at least 2 days (48 hours).