Bentfield Primary School and Nursery Bentfield Primary School and Nursery


Primary School and Nursery

Google Services

Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Search

Google Search



Attendance at school is not only a legal requirement but also has a huge impact on the attainment and progress of our children. Attendance also has an impact on the judgement Ofsted makes – a school with attendance below the national average cannot be a “good” school.


It is for these reasons why it is so crucial for pupils at our school to maintain high levels of attendance and punctuality throughout the year.


Expectations regarding attendance


Our full Attendance Policy can be found at the bottom of this page and in the Policies section of this website. We would urge you to read this to find out what is expected of you as a parent/carer regarding attendance.


It is each parent/carer’s responsibility to ensure that children arrive at school on time and attend school every day.


Requested leave of absence during term time


It is a rule of this school that a leave of absence shall not be granted in term time unless there are reasons considered to be exceptional. Exceptional circumstances may include compassionate leave, religious observance, or where a parent is a service personnel and is returning from a tour of duty abroad.


Exceptional circumstances do not include the following:


  • availability of cheaper holidays during term time
  • children's own or family members' birthdays
  • parents experiencing difficulties getting time off during school holiday periods
  • ‘one off’ family gatherings
  • holidays accidentally booked by relatives who were not aware of term dates
  • holidays which still provide an educational experience


In addition to this, applications for authorised absence will not be considered:


  • at any time in September (as children settle into their new classes)
  • during statutory assessment or test periods
  • when a pupil's attendance has already had an unauthorised absence in the same academic year
  • when an authorised absence has already been granted in the same academic year
  • if your child's attendance is less than 90% at the time the application is made


For pupils in our reception class please be aware that these requirements commence when they start school at the beginning of the academic year (as opposed to when a pupil turns five years old).


All applications for a leave of absence must be made in writing on the appropriate form (found either in the documents below or in the atrium area at school, copied on yellow paper).


Please remember that where a parent removes a child when the application for leave was refused or where no application was made to the school, the issue of a penalty notice may be requested by our school in accordance with the requirements laid out by Essex County Council.


Absence reporting


Absences due to illness should be reported to the school office. For safeguarding purposes, this must be done on the first morning that your child will be absent and by 9.00am at the very latest.


You can report your child absent by calling the school office on 01279 813626 and speaking to a member of our office team or by leaving a message on our answer machine. Alternatively, you can send an e-mail to


PLEASE NOTE: You will need to ring or email every day of the absence unless the school office have advised you otherwise.


Any absence that we do not know the reason for will be marked as unauthorised until a reason for absence has been provided. This will be recorded on your child's attendance record.


Medical Appointments


Where possible, routine medical and dentist appointments should be arranged outside school hours as these appointments will reduce your child’s percentage attendance and ultimately affect their learning. We do understand that some appointments, such as hospital consultations are not always possible to arrange outside of school hours.


If an appointment is necessary during the school day we ask that, where time allows, your child comes to school first, for registration and at least part of the morning and then leave, as this will have a positive impact on their attendance. Likewise, we would always encourage you to bring them back into school for afternoon registration, where the time and duration of the appointment permits.


Did you know?


  • 10 days absent a year = 95% attendance (losing 50 hours of education)
  • 20 days absent a year = 90% attendance (losing 100 hours of education)
  • 30 days absent a year = 85% attendance (losing 150 hours of education)
  • 40 days absent a year = 80% attendance (losing 200 hours of education)


“Every Minute Counts”


 5 minutes late

 3 days

 10 minutes late

 6½ days

 15 minutes late

 10 days

 20 minutes late

 13 days

 30 minutes late

 19½ days


If a child arrives after the register has been taken (at 8.50am), they will be marked as late. If they arrive after 9.10am, the session will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.


Persistent absentees


Any pupil whose attendance falls below 90% is defined by the Government as a 'persistent absentee'. Of course, we are well aware that there may be justifiable reasons for this level of attendance, especially for some of our more vulnerable pupils, however absence at this level will cause considerable damage to any child’s education and we need a parent/carer’s fullest support and co-operation to tackle this. If this situation occurs or is in danger of occurring, we will send a letter home to highlight the lower than expected attendance and start a dialogue as to the reasons why. This may then lead to further meetings and/or referral to the Attendance Compliance Team at Essex County Council.


Establishing good patterns of attendance now – and only taking days off when it is really necessary – is preparing our children to succeed in their future lives.


Thank you for supporting us in having high expectations and developing good patterns of attendance and punctuality for all our pupils from the outset. For further information and an absence request form (which must be used for all applications) please see the links below:

Application for Leave of Absence

School Attendance Policy