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Attendance & Punctuality

A very important message for all parents/carers


Hillcrest is continuing to work in partnership with parents, carers and Bristol City Council to help with children’s return to education following several very challenging months for families and education settings in the last academic year.


From January-March 2021, when the COVID-19 outbreak was increasing, the government made it clear that no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school as schools were closed to all but a specific group of pupils; those of key workers and vulnerable children.


Now the circumstances have changed, school attendance is once again compulsory. This means that from September 2021, the usual rules on school attendance apply, including:


  • Parents’ duty to send their child to school regularly where they are of compulsory school age;
  • Schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence;
  • The availability of local authorities to use legal sanctions, including penalty notices and prosecution in court.


It is vital for all children to be in school for the benefit of their education, well-being and wider development as pupils with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well.

If you or your child are worried about attending school, please contact us to discuss your concerns directly. We will do everything we can to help. We work closely with health and council teams who also may be able to provide support.


Term-time holidays/absences
School terms are not the time to take your child out of school for a family holiday or other term-time leave. It is unlikely that any leave will be authorised by the Head Teacher after so much enforced absence from school. The more your child is in school, the more they will improve their learning and enjoy all the other benefits of their educational experience.

Family emergencies also need careful consideration, it is not always appropriate or in the best interests of the child to miss school for emergencies which are being dealt with by family members.


No school or local authority wishes to take legal action and every attempt to resolve parent and carers’ concerns and improve a child’s attendance will be made, including the implementation of our Attendance Review Action Plan (a written agreement made between parents/carers and school) before any formal action is considered.


Ultimately the most important thing is that we work together with our parents/carers to get all our children back into education.


We will always listen if you have any worries and we will try our very best to help you.




We would also like to remind parents/carers of how important it is that pupils arrive in school on time. Lateness can seriously disadvantage children and disrupt the learning of others.


The table below indicates how frequent lateness can add up to a considerable amount of learning being lost.


Minutes late per day

Equates to Days of Teaching lost in a year

Which means this number of lessons missed

5 mins

3 Days

15 lessons

10 mins

6 Days

30 lessons

15 mins

9 Days

45 lessons


Any pupils arriving after 8.50am will be registered as 'L' for late.

Pupils arriving after 9.15am will be marked 'U' for unauthorised.

Where the school does not receive a message for an absence then pupils will be marked 'o.' This is also an unauthorised absence mark. Persistent unauthorised absences (8 in a 10 week period) can lead to a penalty notice of £60 per parent per child being issued. This can quickly mount up as this amount rises to £120 should it not be paid within 21 days.




We wish you and all our children all the best for this academic year.


Kind regards


Bridget Norman
Head Teacher