Attendance at Abbeyfield School

To view the Abbeyfield School Attendance Policy, please click below:

Individual attendance target: 100%

Academy attendance target: 98%

It is important that every student attends school every day and on time in order that they may give themselves the very best chance of success. It is proven by research that students who are not in school will miss out on lesson time and may then not be able to take full advantage of the learning experiences available to them.

If your child misses one session in a week (remember, there are two sessions per day) their attendance cannot reach higher than 90%. This may look impressive but it means they miss 19 days of education in a year and risk dropping one grade in their GCSEs. 5 C grades become 5 D grades.

Here at Abbeyfield School we take absence seriously and target intervention with students whose attendance falls below Abbeyfield target of 95% or better.

Persistent Absence (PA): DFE policy now deems 90% and below attendance to be PA.

We use “PS Engage” which is an automated message system that text parents to request explanations for absence. If a response is not received emails, phone calls and letters are sent home to resolve reasons for absence and reduce the likelihood of future absence. This is proven to have a positive effect on attendance patterns and clarification of reasons for absence.

Planned absence during term time – Abbeyfield School follows the DFE’s amended policy by not authorising holidays during term time, unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’.

In April 2016, Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) amended its policy on Unauthorised Absences. The time frame for parents receiving a fixed penalty notice has reduced from ten days to five days or 10 sessions. The updated policy does not allow schools to authorise any absence of five days or more during school time. Head teachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional.

Parents will be fined by the Local Authority for taking their child on holiday during term time without the consent of the school i.e. A Fixed Penalty notice of £60.00 would be issued to each child: i.e. two parent family, two children = £240.00 and the following would apply: £60.00 If paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120.00 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of receipt.

The links between good attendance and academic success are clear and beyond argument. Here at Abbeyfield School we do all that we can to promote good attendance and to that end we have always supported the work of the Local Authority in bringing about improvements.

The letter and accompanying leaflet from Northamptonshire County Council, Learning, Skills and Education department, please click here and here, clearly outlines the sanctions that will be applied when children and young people are taken out of school for unauthorised reasons during term time. We have always been able to rely on the support of our parents and carers and I know we will be able to do so as we implement these important changes.

Parents will be fined by the Local Authority for taking their child on holiday during term time without the consent of the school.

Please be aware that the criteria for fixed penalty notices for unauthorised absence has recently been significantly reduced. Should your child’s unauthorised absence meet the threshold and subsequently trigger a fixed penalty notice, it will be structured as follows:

  • £60 per parent/adult for each student if paid within 21 days, increasing to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of issue.
  • If the Penalty Notice is not paid within 28 days, the Local Authority may instigate legal proceedings under section 444 (1) of the Education Act 1996. If found guilty of an offence under this Act, parents will receive a criminal record and could be fined up to £1000.

To view the Code of Conduct for Penalty Notices for absencesplease click here.

We do not authorise holidays during term time because we recognise that such absence negatively affects attainment

All staff work closely with students to make clear the message that attending well and being on time, will lead to higher levels of attainment and greater employment prospects.


Good punctuality is an excellent life-skill and we expect all our students to arrive in school before 8:40am. For any student who arrives after 8:45am, we operate a ‘late gate’ and students will receive a sanction.

As a parent, you can help by:

  • Contacting the school when your child will be absent.
  • Booking doctors and dentist appointments outside of school hours.
  • Supporting your child to attend as often as possible by reminding them on the importance of school attendance.
  • Ensuring your child arrives at school by 8:40am each morning.

As a school, we will help by:

  • Following up on every absence ensuring that no absence goes unnoticed.
  • Acknowledging and rewarding good attendance and punctuality.
  • Reminding parents and students about the importance of attendance and how it is measured against attainment.
  • Letting parents know if we have concerns regarding their child’s attendance and punctuality.

As a student, I can help by:

  • Attending school every day, on time, to give you the very best chance of success.
  • Participating in the inter-house competitions for attendance and punctuality.

We have a detention system to discourage poor punctuality. Students who are late to school miss their first break of the day. This system has proved to be effective in reducing the number of students who arrive late to school.

Arriving just 5 minutes late every day equals missing 3 days of education over the whole year. Arriving half an hour late every day is equivalent to 18 days absence. .N.B. Arriving more than 30 minutes late = U Code =ABSENCE MARK.

Every day attendance = VIVO Points awarded. We reward students who do attend well – every term, students with 96%+ additional VIVO Points.

The school day begins at 8.40 a.m.

AM Registration is at 8.45 a.m. in lesson 1 and PM Registration is at 12.15 p.m in lesson 4.

N.B. We register students in every lesson at Abbeyfield but the am/pm registrations are the statutory times reported to LA/DFE regularly.

We do understand that on some occasions children may be ill and unable to attend school. Please contact school at these times and provide written reason for absence on your child’s return if the absence exceeds four days in duration. Notes should be brought to Student Services.

School follow up all absences via Attendance Support Meetings and Parenting Contracts. Where necessary, cases are referred to Education Inclusion and Partnership Team (EIPT) for legal action to be considered.

Contact with Parents/Carers

At Abbeyfield School, we currently use PS Engage to advise parents/carers of absent students and enable us to communicate with parents and carers more effectively.

What is PS Engage?

PS Engage is an electronic messaging service which allows the school to send important messages to parents instantly via text, voice or email.

It is a secure web based system which integrates with all the school’s existing systems and gives us the ability to personalise messages and respond to issues of safeguarding very quickly.

For more information, please visit the PE Engage website by clicking here.