Attendance & Absence

General attendance policy

Your child’s time at school is very valuable.  When children attend school they are being given the very best opportunities to learn, make academic progress, develop and maintain those relationships with others that allow them the best chance to fulfil their true potential.   It is therefore very important that our children miss as little school as possible.  We do realise that absences due to illness or medical matters can be unavoidable and if a child is not fit and healthy enough, then school is not the place for a child to be.

If your child is not going to be coming into school we ask you to phone the school office (01289 306170) as soon as possible on the first day of absence to let us know they won’t be in. In addition to this, a phone call must be made to the office for each subsequent day of absence due to the illness.  On this message, please state clearly the child’s name, class and the nature of the illness which is causing the absence.

Norham St Ceolwulf's C of E First School is determined to achieve better than 96% attendance each year.

From September 2013 the Headteacher no longer has the authority to authorise absences for the pupose of taking a family holiday except in exceptional circumstances. We therefore ask parents and carers to avoid booking holidays during term time. If however you believe there are exceptional reasons why your child needs to be absent from school you need to make your request in writing to the Headteacher stating the dates and the exceptional reasons for the absence, (Forms are available from the school office).

It is important to remember that a child who is absent from school for 2 weeks (10 days) will have less than 95% attendance for that year before taking into account any further days lost due to illness. Where a child’s level or pattern of absences becomes a concern we will discuss this with the parent or carer and may involve the services of our Educational Welfare Officer to help improve the situation.


Punctuality is just as important as attendance, as lateness can cause a child great anxiety as they play ‘catch-up’ with their peers due to not arriving in school on time.  At Norham staff work hard to provide a positive introduction to the school day for all children, therefore providing a basis for positive learning throughout the day. If you have issues around punctuality please see the class teacher or Mr Hilton, the school has resources and strategies to support all families in need of some additional help.

Attendance Award Initiative

As part of the school’s drive to 96% we have introduced a half-termly attendance awards that recognise full attendance. Each half term every child who achieves above 96% attendance will receive a certificate and prize in recognition of this outstanding achievement. Each certificate entitles the pupil to a  further ticket into the grand prize event at the end of the year when children can win prizes to enjoy over the summer break.