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All about Attendance


At Hillcrest we firmly believe that every day counts.  


We expect all pupils to be in school every day and arrive, ready to learn, at 8.50am. 


We aim to make learning enjoyable, so that all the children can experience success and realise their full potential. Being in school regularly and on time is important for their motivation and attainment. This is reflected in our Attendance Policy


Children at Hillcrest enjoy school and attendance is good. 


In on time

Make sure that your child is in the line in the playground, ready to go

into class for registration at 8.50am, so they and the rest of their

class have a calm, uninterrupted start to their learning day. 



The school day begins at 8.50am.



  • If your child arrives after 8.50am they will be registered as Late. They must be signed in at the office, stating the reason for lateness.



Registers close at 9.00am.


  • If your child arrives after 9.00am they will be given an Unauthorised Absence mark for that morning's session.




No-one likes being late and it can be stressful and embarrassing for a child. They may feel flustered and not sure what they're supposed to be doing, affecting their concentration and learning. Frequently missing the introduction to the first lesson can mean their work suffers and school may stop being fun.


Top tips for a good start to the day...


  • Consider how long it takes to get to school if the weather is bad or if there are road works. Allow plenty of time to get to school before 8.50 am.


  • If you struggle to get your child to school on time each day could you ask another parent, that you trust and can rely on, to bring your child to school?


  • Have a regular routine for the start of each day.


  • Make getting everything ready for the morning part of your child's evening routine - laying out their school uniform, finding their shoes, packing their bag with reading book, snack and anything else they need - packed lunch, PE kit etc. Doing it together will help your child learn to take responsibility - it's never too early to start! 


  • Set a reasonable bed time to make sure they get enough sleep. Primary school aged children on average need around 10-12 hours sleep.


  • Give your child a healthy breakfast, e.g. toast, fruit or cereal.


  • Aim to arrive a bit early so your child has a few minutes to play and chat before lining up. The gate is open from 8.40am.









If your child is not able to come to school, contact the office before 10am (call 0117 3772440 and leave a message on the absence line, or send a free text on the Arbor app) to tell us why.


  • If you do not contact the school by 10.00am with a reason for their absence they will be given an Unauthorised Absence mark.


Persistent unauthorised absences can lead to a Penalty Notice, which is a fine, per parent per child, being issued. 





If your child is too unwell to come to school you must let the office know before 10am on the first day of absence, clearly stating their name, their class and the nature of the illness. 


Unless arranged otherwise, please text or call the office on each subsequent day of absence.



Should my child come to school?

See the helpful NHS guidance here: Is my child too ill for school?
You can also download the Government guidelines that we follow at Hillcrest on infection control in schools HERE.  It's an alphabetical list of infectious illnesses and conditions and tells you whether the child needs to stay away from school.

Diarrhoea and vomiting - Because tummy bugs spread so easily, the affected child must not return to school until a clear 48 hours after the last time they are sick or have diarrhoea.



Taking your child out of school during the day


If you are taking your child out during the school day for an appointment, or any other reason, please make sure you sign them out on the screen in the lobby (and sign them back in if they return later in the day).  


Ideally, medical appointments should be made outside school hours but if this is not possible please bring in an appointment card or letter.




    Leave of absence


    You have a legal responsibility to make sure that your child attends school. In accordance with national guidelines, holidays will not be authorised during term time.


    A single day's absence will be granted for religious observance - eg. Eid.


    Leave of absence will only be granted in exceptional circumstances * and at the discretion of the Head Teacher. It must be requested in writing using the school's Absence Request Form (available to download HERE or pick up from the leaflet rack in the school lobby).


    * Circumstances which are not considered exceptional include:

    • family holidays to visit relatives
    • cheap holidays during term time
    • holidays that fit around work schedules
    • birthdays
    • visiting relatives
    • resting after a late night
    • shopping 




    What if poor attendance becomes a problem?


    For many reasons, some children can find it harder than others to attend school and we will work together with them, their parents and partner organisations to improve attendance by removing barriers and building strong and trusting relationships. 


    We take a ‘support first' approach: 


    Support first approach 



    We aspire to high standards of attendance from all pupils and parents and

    build a culture where all can, and want to, be in school and ready to learn by    prioritising attendance improvement across the school. 




    We use attendance data rigorously to identify patterns of poor attendance as soon as possible so all parties can work together to resolve them before they become entrenched.  


     Listen and



    When a pattern is spotted, we talk with pupils and parents to listen to and understand barriers to attendance and agree how all partners can work together to resolve them. 





    We try to move barriers in school and help pupils and parents to access the support they need to overcome the barriers outside school. Where absence is a symptom of wider issues this might include an early help or whole family plan.   





    Where absence persists and voluntary support is not working or not being engaged with, we work together with partners to explain the consequences clearly and make sure support is also in place to enable families to respond. Depending on the circumstances this may include formalising support through an attendance contract or education supervision order.  




    Where all other avenues have been exhausted and support is not working or not being engaged with, we will enforce attendance through statutory intervention: a penalty notice in line with the National Framework or prosecution to protect the pupil’s right to an education. 



    The table below shows how what might seem like just a few days absence can result in children missing a significant number of lessons. 


    Attendance during school year 

    Days lost in a year 

    Which is approximately 

    Approximate number of lessons missed 


    9.5 Days 

    2 Weeks 

    50 Lessons 


    19 Days 

    4 Weeks 

    100 Lessons 


    If you have questions about attendance please contact Kate Higginson, our Family Support Worker.




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