Attendance and Punctuality at Sinai

This is a successful school and your child plays their part in making it so. We aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to reach out for excellence. For your children to gain the greatest benefit from their education, it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. The DfE expects that primary age pupils, as a minimum, attend school for 95% of the school year.

Sinai’s policies reflect our Jewish ethos and our commitment to Every Child Matters.  The ethos of Sinai places a high value on providing a full and effective educational experience for all pupils.

Attendance and Punctuality Policy

It is very important therefore that you make sure that your child attends school daily.


  • A pupil should come to school every day and be on time;
  • A pupil should only be absent if the reason is “unavoidable”;
  • Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by parents/guardians), as either authorised or unauthorised. This is why information about the cause of each absence is always required, preferably in writing;

Authorised absences

Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason such as illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable causes.

Unauthorised absences

Unauthorised absences are those that Sinai does not consider reasonable and for which no permission has been given. Providing a note may not be sufficient if the reason given is not “unavoidable”.

Unauthorised absences include:

  • going shopping;
  • birthdays;
  • absences which have never been properly explained;
  • pupils who arrive at school too late to get a mark;
  • holidays taken during term time – the reason of the reduced cost of term-time holidays is outweighed by the detrimental cost to a pupil’s education when missing school.

Holidays during Term Time

Parents/guardians are advised of the importance of their children attending school and are encouraged to take their holiday during the break periods. The DfE has specified that parents/guardians should not normally take children on holiday during term-time.  There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time.

  • The school does not authorise absence for holidays during term time. 
  • Requests for absence during Year 6 will not be approved.

Holidays in term time:  You have to get permission from the head teacher if you want to take your child out of school during term time. You can only do this if: you make an application to the head teacher in advance (as a parent the child normally lives with) or there are exceptional circumstances It’s up to the head teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted.

Department of Education

Absence Procedures

Parents/guardians are legally responsible for ensuring that their child attends school regularly and punctually. If a pupil is prevented from attending, the school should be informed of the reason by 9.15am on the first day of absence. A pupil’s explanation is not acceptable. The explanation of absence can be given through the following methods:

  • telephone call to the School and leave a message on the automated system;
  • verbally to the School Office;
  • email to
  • giving details of your child’s name, registration group and reason for absence. If your child is absent on grounds of illness, please provide details of the illness.
A pupil’s absence will be considered as unauthorised until a satisfactory explanation is received.

Parents/guardians should email Permission for absence during term time will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Headteacher after taking into consideration the nature of the request received.

Permission for absence must be sought in advance as there is no discretion for the Headteacher to authorise requests after the absence. Any absences where permission has not been sought in advance will automatically be recorded as an unauthorised absence, even if it is an absence that would normally be approved.

Requests for absence due to a simcha or for holiday during term time should be made at least 4 weeks in advance of the requested first day of absence.

Parents/guardians should not book flights or hotels until permission for the absence has been granted by the Headteacher.

Where pupils are absent from school for extended periods of time as a result of illness or injury, arrangements will be made for pupils to receive work. The amount of work and type of work will be dependent upon the age of the pupil. It will also be dependent on the pupil’s illness. Each pupil’s individual needs will be discussed with the parents/guardians and/or medical personnel, etc as appropriate.

The work will be set by the class teacher or in the case of hospitalisation by the hospital education service. The school will cooperate in providing necessary information to the hospital service.

Once a pupil has been absent from school for three school weeks and is at home, the School will work with the local education authority to try to ensure that the pupil has some home schooling.

Attendance, including lateness, issues will be discussed at Parents Evenings with parents/guardians, if the School deem it to be unsatisfactory and a cause for concern.

The School’s Attendance Officer, together with the Headteacher and other members of the Senior Leadership Team, regularly monitors attendance and will look at pupil records to identify where attendance is 90% and below and parents/guardians will be contacted to discuss this issue.

Teachers will also alert the Head Teacher to other issues about attendance such as when pupils regularly have one day’s absence most weeks. These pupils are not always highlighted as their attendance is often just above the 90% but it is still a cause for concern.

The Headteacher will make a written referral to the Education Welfare Service if after meeting with the parents/guardians there still is no improvement in attendance and no satisfactory explanation. This may lead to the parents/guardians receiving a Formal Warning, Education Penalty Notice or being prosecuted in court.

Towards the beginning of the Spring and Summer term, an e-card is sent to the parents/guardians of all pupils who have 100% attendance, with no lateness, for the preceding term. For the Summer term, this is sent out at the end of that term.

For those pupils who have 100% attendance, with no lateness, for the entire school year, they will be commended during an assembly and a given a certificate.

Like absence, a pupil who is late for school will lose an opportunity to learn. Sinai endeavours to provide every pupil with a full and effective educational experience. This requires the assistance of parents/guardians and the pupils themselves in ensuring that the pupil attends punctually, and is ready to start the school day.

Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence.

How We Manage Lateness

School staff are on duty in the playgrounds from 8.10 am.

  • The school day starts at 8.40 am and we expect your child to be in the playground lining up at that time.
  • Registers are marked by 9.15 am and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.

At 9.15 am the registers will be closed. In line with our school policy, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence. This may mean that you could face the possibility of a Penalty Notice if the problem persists.

If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the Assistant Headteacher and/or Attendance Officer to resolve the problem, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.

All pupils who are late must report to the School office where a note will be made of their name and time of arrival.

It is recognised that there may be circumstances when a child may arrive late for a period of time because of transport difficulties or because of prolonged illness. The school would adopt a flexible approach in these instances and work with the child and parents/guardians to help in any way possible.

Persistent lateness is defined by the school as five or more days in a term. Unexplained, or unsatisfactory, persistent lateness will result in a letter being sent to the parents/guardians, reminding them of their responsibilities, and inviting them to discuss any issues with the school. Should the issue remain unresolved, and continue to be persistent, contact will be made by the School and the matter may be referred to the Education Welfare Service and a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued.


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