Attendance Matters

Why is attendance important?

Regular attendance at school will impact on your child’s academic progress-pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.

 Research indicates that there is a direct link between poor attendance and poor achievement. Goodwin Academy has a minimum target of 96% attendance for every child. A student who has only 90% attendance misses almost 4 weeks of school every year.

A pupil’s attendance will directly affect their achievement in school.  Evidence shows that a pupil’s progress and attainment is affected if their attendance falls below 90% and statistics show that if pupils miss just 17 days (34 sessions) of school, their GCSE attainment is likely to drop by an entire grade.

It is important that we help our young people to get into the good habits that they will need in the workplace. Excellent attendance and punctuality are essential in their future employment and we regularly receive requests from potential employers for references regarding attendance and punctuality. Students who develop a poor pattern of attendance and punctuality will be monitored by the Attendance Team and you may be invited into school for a meeting. As a parent/carer, you are legally responsible for ensuring that your child attends school regularly and is punctual. If you fail to ensure this, you are committing an offence under the Education Act (1996) which may lead to a fine of up to £2500 and/or a prison sentence.

Penalty Notices are issued to each parent for each child who is absent without the agreement of the Principal. Penalty Notices carry a fine of £60 per parent, per child, if paid within 21 days increasing to £120 per parent, per child, if paid between 22-28 days. There is no right of appeal against the issuing of a Penalty Notice because the authorisation of absence is the sole responsibility of the Principal.

Where Penalty Notice(s) are unpaid, the Local Authority may consider taking legal action under Section 444(1) Education Act 1996 for failure to ensure a child’s regular attendance at school.

If this happens, the case will take place before magistrates who could issue the maximum fine of £1000 per parent per child for this offence.

Parents are asked to respect the new regulations under which the school must work and if there is a need to take a child out of school during term-time, an application or request must be made in advance and make clear how the circumstances are exceptional.

Parents are asked to respect the new regulations under which the school must work and if there is a need to take a child out of school during term-time, an application or request must be made in advance and make clear how the circumstances are exceptional.

Important Website Links:

School attendance – Kent County Council

Government Attendance & Absence 


Promoting excellent attendance


Always make school a priority

  • Never make a doctor, dentist or optician appointment during school time unless this is absolutely necessary.
  • If you do need to make an appointment in school time, try to ensure that your child misses as little of school as possible.
  • We know that travel companies don’t make it easy for families but never book a holiday during term time (it won’t be authorised, your child will fall behind and you may be fined).
  • Don’t allow your child to stay off school to make things easier for yourself – this is against the law.
  • Don’t allow your child to miss school on Mondays and Fridays if you are going away for the weekend.
  • Don’t allow your child to take a day off because of the weather.
  • Don’t allow your child to take a day off for their birthday – this is completely unacceptable and does not prepare them for adult life.


Help your child to stay on track

  • Find out if your child is coping with their work and if they are up to date – missing school will make them fall behind.
  • Check your child’s attendance with school – you might not realise how much school they have missed.
  • Encourage your child to stay after school to attend home learning clubs, booster sessions and extra lessons whenever they are offered.
  • If your child forgets their home learning, PE kit, stationery etc. or is not in correct uniform, it will cause problems for them at school – please help your child become organised at home.

Pupils' responsibility

  • Aim for 100% attendance.
  • Follow the dress code set by Goodwin Academy.
  • Be punctual all lessons.
  • Be equipped and ready to learn.
  • Visit the toilets at break time and lunchtime.
  • In case of lateness, report to reception to sign in and provide a note from home with an explanation for the late arrival to school.


School Support Systems for promoting regular attendance

In order to ensure good attendance from all our pupils we have a graduated support system as outlined below:

StageAttendance ThresholdsActions 
Excellent96% - 100%


  • 100% attendance celebration half-termly
  • Prize drawers half-termly
  • Bronze, silver and gold certificates
  • Letters sent each half-term
  • Dedicated attendance weeks - rewards for 100% attendance
Stage 1Below 96%-94%
  • Form Tutor Support
  • Form tutor interview – Verbally
  • Pupil voice through attendance proformas and interviews
  • Parent/carer informed
  • Letters sent – tiered approach
Stage 2Below 94%-92%
  • Head of Year support – weekly meetings
  • Parent/Carer informed by meeting or phone
  • Pupil voice – as above
  • Barriers to learning identified
  • Attendance target set and reviewed weekly
  • Letters home
  • Education Penalty Notice warning letters
  • Attendance report
Stage 3Below 92%-90%
  • Attendance team input
  • Parental meetings
  • Medical evidence
  • Attendance plans
  • Home visits
Stage 4Below 90%
  • All absences to be unauthorised unless covered by medical evidence
  • School issue Education Penalty warning notice
  • School Attendance Service issue fast track prosecution
  • Action plan for improved attendance agreed with parent/carer and school attendance service
  • Multi-agency referral if required
Stage 5Attendance does not improve - statutory proceedings
  • Block prosecution
  • Education Penalty Notice issued
  • Court process – prosecution

What is ‘persistent absence’?

Persistent Absence is classed as any absence that equates to over 10% of the academic year at any given time. Any pupil who appears on the persistent absence list may be monitored formally by KCC Attendance Services. The thresholds are set out below:

Close of first half-term:        3.5 days in total

Close of 2nd half-term:         7 days in total

Close of 3rd half-term:          10 days in total

Close of 4th half-term:          12.5 days in total

Close of 5th half-term:          15.5 days in total

Close of 6th half-term:          19 days in total

Key Points for Information


  • Students should attend school for 190 days per year.
  • If your child is ill, contact the school on each day of absence, before 8.25am.
    **Please note Goodwin Academy does not operate a 48 hour return to school policy following an illness/sickness bug.  Your child should return to school at the earliest opportunity**
  • If no contact is received regarding the absence, it is recorded as unauthorised. Ultimately the school is responsible for deciding if the absence is acceptable or not. Only genuine absence will be authorised. You must provide medical certificates or evidence of appointments if you wish us to consider them, or if your child has a poor attendance record.
  • Ensure that medical appointments are made outside of school time.
  • Holidays should not be taken in school time. 
  • We will on occasion need to send you letters to let you know about potential effects of your child’s attendance, should it drop below 96%.  In each of these letters there is specific legal wording which has to be used.  Please respond to letters or telephone calls regarding attendance and punctuality as required by the content of the letter or if you wish to discuss the impact of attendance further. 
  • Contact the Attendance Team if you are experiencing difficulty in getting your child into school.
  • All requests for leave of absence in term time must be made in writing on the leave of absence request form at least two weeks in advance of the required date (see Leave of Absence below).
  • As a parent or carer you are committing an offence if you fail to ensure that your child attends school regularly and punctually, even if they are missing school without your knowledge.

Thank you for working in partnership with us to achieve the highest possible levels of attendance and punctuality at Goodwin Academy.


The Attendance Support Team


We have a dedicated team of staff at Goodwin Academy who work on attendance; Mr Barnes, Associate Assistant Principal works closely with the attendance officer, Ms Lawson, the HOY and when appropriate KCC Attendance services to scrutinise our attendance data daily, weekly and half termly.

As you would expect, we have very high standards and are committed to all our pupils making maximum progress. The attendance staff are always happy to offer advice and support to pupils, parents/carers and families on effective strategies for maximising attendance.  If you would like more details, please do not hesitate to contact school.

Contact details

Mrs Maxine Davies 

Telephone: 03333 602210

Ms Kristie Lawson


Telephone: 03333 602210 Ext. 26216