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Why is attendance important?

Regular attendance at school will impact on your child’s academic progress-pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.


Research indicates that there is a direct link between poor attendance and poor achievement. Penketh High School has a minimum target of 96% attendance for every child. A student who has only 90% attendance misses almost 4 weeks of school every year. That’s over 100 hours of learning lost. If young people do not attend school regularly, they will experience difficulty in keeping up with their studies. In addition, they also miss out on the many activities and opportunities that we offer at Penketh High School that support the curriculum and nurture their growth into young adults. Students who do not attend school regularly are at a greater risk of becoming involved in crime or becoming a victim of abuse.

Penketh High School believes that regular school attendance is the key to enabling pupils to maximise the educational opportunities available to them and become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults who are able to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community.

A pupil’s attendance will directly affect their achievement in school.  Evidence shows that a pupil’s progress and attainment is affected if their attendance falls below 90% and statistics show that if pupils miss just 17 days (34 sessions) of school, their GCSE attainment is likely to drop by an entire grade.

It is important that we help our young people to get into the good habits that they will need in the workplace. Excellent attendance and punctuality are essential in their future employment and we regularly receive requests from potential employers for references regarding attendance and punctuality. Students who develop a poor pattern of attendance and punctuality will be monitored by the Attendance Team and you may be invited into school for a meeting. As a parent/carer, you are legally responsible for ensuring that your child attends school regularly and is punctual. If you fail to ensure this, you are committing an offence under the Education Act (1996) which may lead to a fine of up to £2500 and/or a prison sentence.


If a pupil does not attend school or is not taking part in an approved educational activity, they are classed as ABSENT from school. This means that if your child is off school for any reason, even if they are ill or have medical permission to be off school, they will be marked as ABSENT.

100% attendance is 190 days in school.

8 days of absence is 96%.

12 days of absence is 94%.

19 days absence is 90%.

29 days absence is 85%.

38 days absence is 80%.

47 days absence is 75%.

Please note: Even if an absence is authorised, percentage attendance is still affected.

We ask parents/carers not to keep their child off school unless the absence is absolutely unavoidable.  Where this is the case please can parents/carers:

  • Contact school on the first morning of absence by 8.30 a.m. to provide a reason for absence.
  • Contact the school each day of absence until your child returns to school.
  • Work with the school and any other agency to resolve any difficulties which may affect regular school attendance.
  • Provide medical verification for any absences exceeding 5 days (10 sessions) or more (unless attendance team have requested medical evidence)

Where absence is unavoidable, the school is very happy to ensure that work is provided so that your child does not fall behind in his or her progress. You will need to contact your child’s Head of Year to arrange this.

What is classed as Persistent Absence?


Persistent Absence is classed as any absence that equates to over 10% of the academic year at any given time. Any pupil who appears on the persistent absence list may be monitored formally by Warrington School Attendance Services. The thresholds are set out below:

Close of first half-term:        3.5 days in total

Close of 2nd half-term:         7 days in total

Close of 3rd half-term:          10 days in total

Close of 4th half-term:          12.5 days in total

Close of 5th half-term:          15.5 days in total

Close of 6th half-term:          19 days in total


Leave of Absence

The Education Regulations 2013 states that Headteachers may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. In exceptional circumstances the school will consider a request for leave of absence for one period of absence only. Weddings and family events are not classed as special or exceptional circumstances.  You will need to request leave of absence by letter at least six weeks prior to the proposed date of absence. This will still impact on attendance.

School Support Systems For Promoting Regular Attendance

In order to ensure good attendance from all our pupils we have a graduated support system as outlined below:

Stage Attendance Thresholds Actions
Excellent 96%-100% Rewards:

  • 100% attendance certificates half-termly
  • Prize drawers half-termly
  • Bronze, silver and gold certificates
  • Letters sent each half-term
  • Dedicated attendance weeks -rewards for 100% attendance
Stage 1 Below 96%- 94%
  • Form Tutor Support
  • Form tutor interview- Verbally
  • Pupil voice through attendance proformas and interviews
  • Parent/carer informed
  • Letters sent –tiered approach
Stage 2 Below 94%- 92%
  • Head of Year support- weekly meetings
  • Parent/Carer informed by meeting or phone
  • Pupil voice – as above
  • Barriers to learning identified
  • Attendance target set and reviewed weekly
  • Letters home
  • Education Penalty Notice warning letters
  • Attendance report
  • EWO one off visits or letters
Stage 3 92%-90%
  • Attendance team input
  • Parental meetings
  • Medical evidence
  • Attendance plans
  • Home visits
Stage 4 Below 90%
  • For cases 85% or below- EWO caseload with some intervention below 90%-85%
  • All absences to be unauthorised unless covered by medical evidence
  • School issue Education Penalty warning notice
  • School Attendance Service issue fast track prosecution
  • Action plan for improved attendance agreed with parent/carer and school attendance service
  • Multi-agency referral if required
Stage 5 Attendance does not improve- statutory proceedings.
  • Block prosecution
  • EWO casework stage 4
  • Education Penalty Notice issued
  • Court process- prosecution
  • Education Supervision Order


The Attendance Support Team

We have a dedicated team of staff at Penketh High School who work on attendance; Miss Taylor, Associate Assistant Principal works closely with the attendance officers, Miss Eves and Miss Bradbury, the HOY and when appropriate Warrington Attendance services to scrutinise our attendance data daily, weekly and half termly.

As you would expect, we have very high standards and are committed to all our pupils making maximum progress.  The attendance staff are always happy to offer advice and support to pupils, parents/carers and families on effective strategies for maximising attendance.  If you would like more details, please do not hesitate to contact school.

Persistent absence is when a pupil enrolment’s overall absence equates to 10 per cent or more of their possible sessions. This means that if your child’s attendance is 90% or below then they are classed as persistently absent. Extremely persistent absence is where your child’s attendance falls to 50% or below. This will result in support from both Penketh and the local authority


What can parents do to help?

It is important that you inform us of any medical or emotional issues that may be affecting your child’s attendance to enable us to offer the appropriate support. If you suspect that your son or daughter is experiencing any problems or issues at school that may be affecting their attendance, please make contact with us as soon as possible either via email or contact school on 01925 722298. This will alert us to any problems and help us to work with you towards resolving any issues. It is important that your son or daughter understands that you are working with the school to ensure that there are no barriers to learning and that you do not condone absence. It is important that you endorse the school’s rules on punctuality, attendance and dress code with your children. Late arrival to school will result in your child being set a detention. Please ensure that your child is dressed to learn, has the correct equipment for the day ahead and follows the school rules regarding appearance and makeup.



Pupils responsibility

  • Aim for 100% attendance.
  • Follow the dress code set by Penketh High School.
  • Be punctual all lessons.
  • Be equipped and ready to learn.
  • Visit the toilets at break time and lunchtime.
  • In case of lateness, report to reception to sign in and provide a note from home with an explanation for the late arrival to school.