Staplehurst School

Absence and Attendance

At Staplehurst School, we expect all children to arrive on time at 8:50am and attend every day. Children have only 190 school days in a year, and we believe that each one is important. Evidence shows there is a clear link between poor school attendance/punctuality and low levels of achievement. We expect all individual pupils to achieve at least 99% attendance.   Any child who arrives at school after 8:50am will obtain a late mark. Children who arrive late not only miss a vital part of the day but also disturb the learning of the rest of the class.

Our aim is for all children to achieve 100% attendance at school. Children who achieve 100% attendance at school are considered to have excellent attendance, over 97% good attendance, 97% is satisfactory attendance and under 97% is unsatisfactory attendance. Any child whose absence falls below 90% is classed as a Persistently Absent child and will be referred to our on-site Education Welfare Officer, Mrs Regelous, who may contact you and invite you in for a meeting. The table below shows the impact of absence within a school year.

How does absence affect attendance?

Days Absent

Weeks Absent

% Attendance


1 week



2 weeks



3 weeks



What if my Child is Ill?

Children are ill on occasions and when this is the case, we accept that being at home is the best place for them to be. Children can’t help being ill and as a school we want all our children to be well and healthy and able to learn happily and confidently when they are here. If your child is absent, parents/carers are asked to telephone the school on the first day of absence before 8:30am, if possible, and in addition, send a note or explanation when they return so that the absence is not recorded as unauthorised. If your child is absent on more than 3 separate days or 5 consecutive days due to a medical condition or illness, parents may be required to provide medical evidence. 

What is Medical Evidence?

RED – Stay at Home

Sickness and diarrhoea - children who have sickness and/or diarrhoea can return to school 48 hours after their last bout of illness. Rash - can be a sign of an infectious illness such as chickenpox and measles. If your child has a rash, please make an appointment with your GP before sending them to school.

AMBER – Take Advice 

A child with a minor headache does not usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more sever, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as a raised temperature or drowsiness, consult your GP 

GREEN – Come to School

Coughs, colds, sore throats, feeling tired, athlete’s foot, cold sores, feeling under the weather etc. We will always contact you if your child becomes ill during the school day

To help further, here are some specific examples of illnesses with guidelines from public health.


Recommended period to be kept away from school (once child is well)



For five days from onset of rash

It is not necessary to wait until spots have healed or crusted

Cold sores


Many healthy children and adults excrete this virus at some time without having a ‘sore’ (herpes simplex virus)

German measles

Five days from onset of rash

The child is most infectious before the diagnosis is made and most children should be immune to immunisation so that exclusion after the rash appears will prevent very few cases

Hand, foot and    mouth disease


Usually a mild disease not justifying time off school


Until lesions are crusted or healed

Antibiotic treatment by mouth may speed healing. If lesions can reliably be kept covered exclusion may be shortened


Five days from onset of rash

Measles is now    rare in the UK

Molluscum    contagiosum


A mild condition

Ringworm (Tinea)


Proper treatment by the GP is important.  Scalp ringworm needs treatment with an antifungal by mouth



A mild illness, usually caught from well persons


Until treated

Outbreaks have occasionally occurred in schools and nurseries.  Child can return as soon as properly treated.  This should include all the persons in the household.

Scarlet fever

Five days from child commencing antibiotics

Treatment    recommended for the affected

Slapped cheek or    Fifth disease (Parvovirus)


Exclusion is Ineffective as nearly all transmission takes place before the child becomes unwell.

Warts and    verrucae


Affected children    may go swimming but verrucae should be covered

Diarrhoea and/or    vomiting (with or without a specified diagnosis)

Until diarrhoea and vomiting has settled (neither for the previous 24 hours)

Usually there will be no specific diagnosis and for most conditions there is no specific treatment.  A longer period of exclusion may be appropriate for children under age 5 and older children unable to maintain good personal hygiene.

E-coli and    Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

Depends on the type of E-coli seek FURTHER ADVICE from the CCDC



Until diarrhoea has settled for the previous 24 hours)

There is a    specific antibiotic treatment


Until diarrhoea and vomiting has settled (neither for the previous 24 hours)

If the child is under five years or has difficulty in personal hygiene, seek advice from the Consultant in Communicable Disease Control.

Shigella (Bacillary dysentery)

Until diarrhoea has settled (for the previous 24 hours)

If the child is under five years or had difficulty in personal hygiene, seek advice from the Consultant in Communicable Disease Control.

Flu (Influenza)


Flu is most    infectious just before and at the onset of symptoms


CCDC will advise

Generally requires quite prolonged, close contact for spread on action.  Not usually spread from children.

Whooping cough (Pertussis)

Five days from commencing antibiotic treatment

Treatment (usually with erythromycin) is recommended though non-infectious coughing may still continue for many weeks



If an outbreak    occurs consult Consultant in Communicable Disease Control

Glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis)



Head lice (nits)


Treatment is  recommended only in cases where live lice have been seen

Hepatitis A

See comments

There is no justification for exclusion of well older children with good hygiene who will have been much more infectious prior to the  diagnosis.  Exclusion is justified for five days from the onset of jaundice or stools going pale for the under-fives or where hygiene is poor

Meningococcal    meningitis/septicaemia

The CCDC will give specific advice on any action needed

There is no    reason to exclude from schools siblings and other close contacts of a case

Meningitis not due to Meningococcalinfection


Once the child is    well infection risk is minimal


Five days from onset of swollen glands

The child is most infectious before the diagnosis is made and most children should be immune due to immunisation



Transmission is uncommon in schools but treatment is recommended for the child and family.



There are many causes, but most cases are due to viruses and do not need an antibiotic.  For one cause, streptococcal infection, antibiotic treatment is recommended


HIV is not infectious through casual contact.  There have been no recorded cases of spread within a school or nursery.

Hepatitis B and C

Although more infectious than HIV, hepatitis B and C have only rarely spread within a school setting.  Universal precautions will minimise possible danger or spread of both hepatitis B and C.



Any child arriving after 8:50am is late. Arrival between 8:50am and 9:20am, when our registers close, will mean your child is marked with an ‘L’ code in the register. Any time after 9:20am and your child will be marked with a ‘U’ code. 10 incidents of late arrival after the registers have closed (U code) during any possible 100 school sessions leads to a Penalty Notice Warning Letter.

Being late for school is very disruptive to the class, class teacher and the child in that:-

  • The late child will have missed key learning time (phonics, number work, precisionteaching) and may feel uncomfortable. 

  • The children’s learning and concentration will be interrupted.

  • The teacher will be disturbed having started teaching the lesson.

How does punctuality effect attendance?

Minutes late each day

School Days Lost Over  Academic Year

5 minutes

3.5 days

10 minutes

1 week

15 minutes

2 weeks

20 minutes

3 weeks

30 minutes

4 weeks


How can I improve my child’s attendance and punctuality?

  • Schedule all non-urgent medical appointments (i.e GP, dental, optical) out of school hours and during school holidays.

  • Set a consistent, regular bed time and morning routine.

  • Prepare clothes and pack school bags the night before.

  • Don’t let your child stay home unless they are too unwell to attend school. If you are unsure of the recommended period for children to be kept away from school for an illness, please call the school office on 01580 891765.

  • If your child seems anxious about attending school, talk to their class teacher or a member of the Inclusion Team for advice and support about how to make your child feel comfortable and excited about learning.

  • Develop ‘back-up plans’ for getting to school in case of an emergency in the morning. Call on a family member, a neighbour or another parent/carer.

  • Ensure that your child has a good breakfast to set them up for the day ahead – there is a Breakfast Club if you need to be in work early.

End of the School Day

Finishing time is 3.15pm for all year groups. 

Please make sure that you arrive on time to collect your child from school. It is very distressing for a child if a parent/carer is late. However, on the rare occasion you may be late, please call the school office to make the staff aware, so they can reassure your child that someone is on their way. Please do NOT attempt to collect your child/children from the school office at the end of the school day.

Request for leave during term time

Any requests for absence during term time will not be authorised unless under exceptional circumstances. Parents' or Carers' must request time off formally by completing this form application for leave during term time the headteacher will return the form to the parent or carer once signed.

If you have concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact the school office or our Family Liaison Officer, Mrs Alison Burchell.

Staplehurst School

“The more we expect of ourselves and one another, the more we can achieve”

You can request a paper copy of any information
on our website CLICK HERE