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DistingtonCommunity School

Empower, Learn, Celebrate




Distington Community School


Our school attendance target is to be above 96%


At Distington Community School we strive to promote good attendance by actively encouraging the development of a positive, stimulated school environment where children, parents and carers feel welcome, safe and secure and where their individual needs are catered for.




Doors open at 8.45am and school starts at 8.50am for all children. Children arriving after 9.05am will be marked as late. Register closes at 9.30am children will be marked as unauthorised after this time. 



Parents/ carers are asked to notify school before 9.00am if their child is going to be absent.

Where a child is absent from school and we have not received any verbal or written communication from the parent/carer then we initiate a first day contact procedure.


  • The School Administrator will check all of the registers from 8.55am to 9.05am on a daily basis, to identify pupils who are absent.


  • If no contact has been made to inform the school of the reason for absence, then admin will ring the primary contact number on record. If there is no response, then a text/voicemail will be sent to the primary number asking for the parent/carer to contact school immediately


  • Admin will continue to go through the emergency contact list in order to get the support of other family members in contacting the parent/carer.


  • If no contact has been made by 9.30am, two members of staff, will then attend the home address to establish that the child/family is safe. The Headteacher/SLT must be informed.


  • If no contact can be made, then the police will be informed and the child will be reported as missing.


The decision to visit a child’s home must always be discussed/agreed beforehand with the head or a member of the SLT. On occasion, it may be necessary to contact the police instead of visiting the home due to staff safety.


Children who attend school regularly are more likely to:

Achieve better grades than children with poor attendance.

Achieve greater amounts of progress.

Have a better understanding of the world around them.

Become more resilient.


What is unauthorised absence?

Only the Head Teacher can decide if the reason given for absence is acceptable. If the Headteacher decides that the reason given for absence is unacceptable, the child will be deemed as unauthorised and maybe passed to the access and inclusion team.


Attendance and Term Time holidays


Good attendance is important to your child’s future. Children who miss school frequently fall behind and make less progress academically.


It is expected that all children have attendance of at least 95%.


Days off school add up…


100% attendance

0 days of missed learning a year


95% attendance

9 days of missed learning a year


92% attendance

15 days of missed learning a year

Requires improvement

90% attendance

19 days of missed learning a year

Cause for concern

Below 90%

20 days + of missed learning a year

Poor attendance



The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time and parents or carers must apply to school for a leave of absence.


The Department for Education allows a Head teacher the discretion to consider authorising a leave of absence in term time only in ‘exceptional circumstances’. They do not clearly define this for schools, but we are required to consider each application individually taking account of the specific facts and circumstances, and relevant background context behind the request.


Parents and carers must complete a ‘Holiday in term time’ form outlining in writing the exceptional circumstances for the request.  A paper copy of the form can be obtained from the school office.  The form must be returned to school for a decision at least 2 weeks before the first day of leave requested (except for a bereavement or other serious family emergency).  We may invite you to attend a meeting to discuss your request.


If you child is absent due to being unwell, school must be informed by 9am via calling and leaving a message with the school office.



A child’s attendance record is published in the end of year report to parents and request of staff and relevant outside agencies at various times throughout the year.

Attendance is also closely monitored by the Governing Body.


Below you will find a document that provides guidance of how long a child should remain off school due to different types of illness.