At Smawthorne Henry Moore Primary School, excellent attendance and punctuality is our aim for every student. It is believed that excellent attendance leads to the best educational outcomes for our children; the more they miss school, the lesser their chances of succeeding. We all want the best for our children and helping them get to school on time every day is one way you can make a big difference to your child. The easiest way to ensure your child attends school on time every day is to establish a good evening and morning routine. If mornings are hectic in your household, prepare as much as possible the night before. Parents have a legal responsibility to ensure a child’s education; failure to do this can lead to legal action.

Please see Local Authority attendance message: 

Our school attendance target is 96%

 The law requires the register to be taken twice a day – at 8.55am and at 12.45pm (Reception and Key Stage 1) and 1.00pm (Key Stage 2). The school doors open at 8.40pm/8.45am and children are expected to arrive in school ready for registration which takes place at 8.50pm/8.55am. Lessons begin promptly at 9.00am. 

After 9.05am, children will be marked as late; after 9.30am children will be marked as an unauthorised absence unless a satisfactory explanation has been given.


School doors close at 8.55am


We take our safeguarding responsibility seriously and calls/text messages are made daily to the parents/carers of absent children where we have not received a reason for absence. Unauthorised absences can lead to a penalty notice being issued. Please keep school updated with new numbers and change of addresses.

A child defined as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ is one who misses 10% or more of school.

We monitor children’s attendance closely and will follow up unexplained absence with a telephone call, text message and/or by letter. Our School attendance target of 96% is the minimum that we expect for every child. Every absence means vital lessons are missed. It is easy to fall behind but difficult to make up lost time. Missed lessons are not repeated and never made up, leaving these children at a considerable disadvantage. Our Education Welfare Officer meets with our Learning Mentors to check pupils’ attendance every 4 weeks and action is taken accordingly. If you need support with attendance, please contact our Learning Mentors.

The way Penalty Notices are issued for term time holidays and irregular school attendance is changing.  Please see the poster below to explain the changes, which come into force from 19 August 2024.



What to do if your child is ill

It is important that you contact school if your child is too ill to attend, parents/carers should contact the School Office as soon as possible by telephone on 01977 558395, email to or by ParentMail. The telephone system allows callers to leave a message. Please give your child’s name, class, the reason for the absence and how long you expect the absence to last. We ask that you contact us each day that your child is absent. It is good to establish a routine that allows your child to arrive at school, on time, every day.


Celebrating Good Attendance

Good attendance is celebrated in weekly assemblies with our Classopoly style board games – you will spot these on the wall in the halls. Each class has their own monopoly piece and get to roll the dice every week if their class attendance is 96% or above. There is one special difference about our board - instead of houses, the squares are all rewards.

Classes who roll the dice also get Classopoly money for their envelopes. The class with the most money at the end of a school year receive a reward of a Pizza Party.

What to do if your child has an appointment

We ask that you make routine medical and other appointments out of school time, where possible. If this is not possible, please notify the class teacher or school office. Please provide an appointment letter/card to confirm the appointment and allow us to record the absence as (M) medical. In most cases, your child should attend school before the appointment and return to school afterwards wherever possible.



 Leave of Absence (including term-time holidays)

Amendments came into force in September 2013 and the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 states that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Term time holidays will not be authorised by the Headteacher unless there are exceptional circumstances. Please see the Attendance Policy for more information regarding this.



 Legal Sanctions

Parents/carers have a legal duty to make sure their child attends school regularly. School attendance is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 16 years.

It is the Law! (Section 36 of the Education Act 1944).

Parents can be taken to court for breaking this law (Section 199 of the Education Act 1993).

The policy for the Government Department of Education (May 1994) also says: "Parents/Carers should ensure that children arrive at school on time, properly attired and in a condition to learn."