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Attendance & Punctuality
To report an absence please send an e-mail to
If you are a parent of (or are responsible for) a child between 5 and 16 who is registered at school, this explains how you can best meet your responsibilities for making sure s/he attends school regularly.
Why must my child go to school regularly?
Having a good education will help you to give your child the best possible start in life. If your child does not attend school regularly, s/he will not be able to keep up with the work.
Employers will want to be sure that the people they are thinking of taking on are reliable. Children who have attended their school regularly, have a better chance of getting and keeping a good job. Young people who are off school for no good reason are at risk of becoming victims of crime or abuse. They may also be drawn into anti-social or criminal behavior.
What does the law say?
By law all children between the ages of 5 and 16 must receive full time education, from the beginning of the term following their 5th birthday to the last Friday in June of the academic year in which s/he reaches their 16th birthday. During that time, the school must give permission for your child to be absent.
What can I do to help my child and the school?
- Make sure your child goes to school daily, arrives on time and attends all lessons.
- If your child is ill, contact the school on the first day of illness. This should be followed up on their return with a letter stating the reason for absence and dates affected.
- If you want permission for your child to miss school for any reason then you should ask for permission well in advance and give full details.
- Take an interest in your child’s school work.
- If your child starts missing school, work with the school to put things right. Make sure s/he understands that you do not approve of him/her missing school.
- Try to book non-urgent doctor/dental appointments out of school time.
- Take holidays out of school time.
- Support the school in its efforts to control bad behavior.
Family holidays during term time
You are strongly urged to avoid booking a family holiday during term time. Parents do not have a right or entitlement to take their child out of school for such a holiday.
Holidays during term time are only authorised in exceptional circumstances and any application must be made in advance and supported by evidence. If the absence is not authorised it can be referred to the Education Welfare Service who may issue a Penalty Notice (currently £60 per parent per child—raised to £120 if not paid within 21 days).
Local Education Authority (LA)
The LA is responsible, by law, for making sure the registered students of compulsory school age attend their school regularly.
What is an Education Welfare Officer (EWO)?
An Education Welfare Officer works with schools to monitor attendance and to help parents meet their responsibilities. One EWO works closely with Harris Academy Rainham. If your child is not attending school regularly or is frequently late the EWO may meet with you or visit you to discuss ways to help.
Absence from school
All absence from school has a potential detrimental effect on your child’s academic progress because of missed teaching and learning and sometimes on his/her social relationships.. This is particularly noticeable when holidays are taken at the beginning of a new year or term. The introduction to new work is missed putting the absent child at a clear disadvantage. In addition, whilst the rest of the class or group are settling in and forming new relationships, an absent child usually takes longer to catch up and settle as part of the class team when s/he does return to school. These problems are further increased if your child already experiences learning or social difficulties.
What if I’m concerned about my child’s attendance?
If you are concerned or anxious about where you child is you can contact the school to check if they have arrived. If you continue to have concerns then please contact Mrs Ramadan, Attendance Officer on ext. 102