School attendance

At Bailey Street AP, we continue to work with pupils and their parents/carers to encourage and promote good attendance. Pupils with good attendance and punctuality are rewarded in assemblies that take place weekly.

Reporting an absence

For safeguarding reasons, it really is vital that you let us know each day why your child is absent from school. If we don’t hear from parents/carers, we’ll ring then text to ensure that they are safe at home. If this contact is not made, the child’s absence will be marked as unauthorised until a reason is given

In some cases, if we’re particularly worried or have not had a response from a text or phone call, we’ll do a home visit and then if necessary, inform social care and the police, who can do a welfare check on a child at our request. We have a duty of care to follow up on the absence if we’re at all concerned.

Attendance records

There are several codes in use for recording attendance and absences. Two are recorded each day, for the morning and afternoon sessions. Here are the most common.

  • Code M: appointment with a doctor or dentist, etc.
  • Code I: genuine illness.
  • Code G: unauthorised holiday.
  • Code L: late before register closes.
  • Code U: late after register closes. This counts as an unauthorised absence.
  • Code O: other unauthorised absence, or no reason given

Looking at this from a parent/carer’s perspective, it really is essential that you let us know the reason for absence, otherwise it has to be marked on the register as an ‘O’. Unauthorised absences (including code U for late arrivals after the register closes) are the reason that some parents have been fined or taken to court for their child’s poor attendance.

For all appointments (medical etc.) we request that a copy of an appointment card or letter is handed into the school reception for the attention of the attendance team.

If pupils are feeling unwell during the school day, they must see a member of the Senior Learning Team, who will contact home.

Ongoing poor attendance (below 90%) is shared with our Education Welfare Officer (EWO), to whom we report each two weeks. This can lead to an Attendance Meeting at school or over the phone. The aim of these meetings is to give school, parents and the EWO the chance to sit together and look at reasons for absence, the impact this is having, and then discuss ways to improve the situation.

Term-time absences

In line with Government and Local Education Authority policy, any holidays taken in school time have to be recorded as an unauthorised absence. Our school is accountable to the DfE and Staffordshire County Council Local Authority (LA) for attendance.

All Holidays taken in term time will also be logged as unauthorised.

Further guidance

Attendance policy

For every school, the issue of children’s absences is always difficult; but please be assured that our intent here is not to upset anyone, nor to be heavy-handed or awkward. Our intent is to keep you informed about our duty to your children as learners, yourselves as parents and also to the authorities that regulate school. We implore anyone who is struggling to get their child into school to contact our Attendance Manager Mrs Sally Briggs to discuss the reasons and work on ways to improve attendance.

What Parents/Carers can do

The following are ways that you can help to tackle the problem of truancy:

  • Inform school if your child has to be off school (preferably prior to absence or on the first day of a medical absence)
  • Talk to your child about his/her school day
  • Attend school Review days
  • Find out what the school’s Attendance Policy and practice is
  • Do not allow your child to be absent without good cause
  • Arrange family holidays during the school holidays not in term time
  • Arrange visits to the Doctor, Dentist, Opticians etc for outside of school hours
  • Do not allow your child to be absent for birthdays, haircuts or shopping
  • If there are any problems, speak to your child’s class/form teacher, Deputy Head or Headteacher
What the Law says

The law relating to school attendance is detailed in the Education Act, Sections 445 – 447; the Children Act 1989, Section 36; the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 (February 27th 2004), Section 19

To summarise:

Parents/Carers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child/children receive an education appropriate to their age, aptitude and ability, either by regular school attendance or otherwise


  • Parents/Carers are responsible for ensuring that their child/children attend school each day and arrive on time.
  • Parents/Carers must not allow their child/children to work during school hours
  • Parents/Carers can receive up to a 3 month imprisonment or £2,500 fine as a result of not ensuring their child/children’s attendance at school
  • Parents/Carers can receive a Penalty Notice (up to £120) for a period of unauthorised absence (i.e. unauthorised holidays in term time)
  • Parents/Carers can receive a Penalty Notice if a child is out in a public place unsupervised while suspended from school
Illness and School attendance

We are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused some parents to feel less confident with assessing whether their child is well enough to be in school so we have set out some information which we hope you will find helpful. If you do keep your child at home, it’s important to phone the school on the first day to let us know that your child won’t be in and give the reason.

Coughs / colds/ respiratory illness

It is usually appropriate for parents and carers to send their children to school with mild respiratory illnesses. This would include general cold symptoms: a minor cough, runny nose or sore throat. However, children should not be sent to school if they have a temperature of 38°C or above.


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.
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. If they have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to school they should stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

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.

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 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 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.

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).

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