At Highfield Schools we aim for our children to have 100% attendance but we do recognise that some absence due to ill health or other circumstances can be unavoidable.  To comply with Government legislation, schools are required to publish authorised and non-authorised absences of all pupils on an annual basis.

Good attendance means your child is at school for at least 97% of the time during a school year. 

In most cases the regulations outlined below are laid down by the Department for Education. 

Parental responsibility and the law 

Ensuring that your child regularly attends school and has good punctuality is a parental responsibility.  Absence from school without good reason is an offence in law and may result in prosecution. In order to ensure the safety and security of all children, we request your support in notifying us promptly if your child is absent from school.

Understanding types of absence

Every half-day of absence from school has to be classified by the school as either authorised or unauthorised, therefore we require information from parents regarding any school absence. 

Authorised absences are time away from school for illness and other unavoidable circumstances.  General medical or dental appointments should be made outside of school hours or in the holidays if possible. 

Unauthorised absences are those that the school does not consider reasonable.  If you are unsure how an absence is likely to be classified please contact the school for advice.  Our policy is not to authorise holidays during term time.

Frequent absence

Children with attendance below 95% are tracked and monitored carefully. If attendance does not improve parents can be given an Attendance Action Plan and that plan may include additional support through the Education Welfare Officer.


Persistent late arrival at school is not acceptable. It disrupts the child’s learning and the learning of others in the class.  The school day starts at 8.50am (HIS) and 8.55am (HJS) and we expect all children to be in by this time.  Registers are marked by 9.00am.  If your child arrives late after this time they will be given a late mark on their record of attendance.  When they are very late this can be classed as an absence in their attendance record.

Did you know lost minutes = lost learning?

Being 15 minutes late each day is the same as missing two weeks of school!

Being 5 minutes late each day is 3 days lost!

Every School day Counts but every minute is equally important!

Highfield Schools' Absence Procedures

You must:

Contact the school office by 9.30am on the first day of absence. 

Advise us in advance of any absence you know will occur in the near future e.g. medical appointments. Please provide copies of appointment letters.

Link to Contact Information pageWe will:

Invite you to discuss the situation with a member of staff if the absence persists or there are concerns over attendance.

Support: If you are experiencing difficulty in getting your child to school, for whatever reason, please let us know and we will try to support you in improving your child’s attendance. Good attendance will be celebrated by the school.

Absence Requests

Please limit appointments during school hours.

If an appointment during the school day is essential please inform the office well in advance and provide evidence such as appointment cards.

You must complete an absence request form (Appendix 2 of the Attendance Policy) to request absence from school.  All requests for absences will be submitted to Mrs Morris.  Please note that unless the request is for an event with exceptional circumstances it will not be approved and will be recorded as unauthorised. For further information please see our Attendance Policy on the Policy page of our website.

Link to Policy Page to View Attendance Policy

Late Arrivals

The school gates are open from 8.40-8.50am (Highfield Infants' School) and 8:40-8:55am (Highfield Junior School). If you arrive after that your child needs to enter the school via the office and will be recorded as late on the registers.

School Hours

The schools operate a soft start from 8:40am.

The official hours of our school day are:

8:50am - 3:20pm for Highfield Infants' School

8:55am - 3:25pm (Y3/4) 8:55am - 3:30pm (Y5/6) for Highfield Junior School

Our school week totals 32.5 hours.