Attendance & Punctuality

Our whole school approach to attendance and punctuality

At Folkestone Academy, we have the highest aspirations for your child: we know that every lesson counts towards your child’s achievement and those who attend school regularly make the best progress in their learning. We also know that you, as your child’s parent/carer, want your child to get on well in life. Children only get one chance at school, and your child’s chances of a successful future may be affected by not attending school every day on time. When children do not attend or are late, they:

  • struggle to keep up with school work

  • miss out on interventions put in place for them

  • miss out on the social side of school life. Poor attendance can affect children’s ability to make and keep friendships, a vital part of growing up.

Our attendance target this year is 95%.

Is there a proven link between attendance and children’s achievement in school?

Yes. There is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement. In primary schools, less than 65% of children get good results in Maths and English in schools when they have an average of 15 days absence, compared to around 90% in schools where the average is less than 8 days.

Many parents are surprised how quickly their children accumulate 15 days absence – we will send you a termly letter letting you know what your child’s absence has been for the term; as well as ensuring your child’s attendance is discussed at parent meetings.

Of the children who miss more than 50 per cent of school, only 3% manage to achieve five or more GCSEs at grades 9-4. 73% of children who have over 95% attendance achieve five or more GCSEs at grades 9-4. While GCSEs may seem some time away for primary pupils, setting good attendance and punctuality patterns from an early age will really help.

What does the law say?

By law, all children of compulsory school age must get a suitable, full-time education. As a parent/carer, you are responsible for making sure this happens.

Once your child is registered at Folkestone Academy, you are responsible for making sure he or she attends regularly. If your child fails to attend regularly – even if they miss school without you knowing – the Local Authority (LA) may

take legal action against you.

The LA is responsible for making sure that parents/carers fulfil their responsibilities, and the school must tell the LA if your child is regularly absent from school. As a parent/carer, you are committing an offence if you fail to make sure that your child attends school regularly. You run the risk of being prosecuted by the LA if your child’s attendance is poor; parents/carers can be fined up to £2,500 or imprisoned for failing to ensure that their child attends school regularly.

At Folkestone Academy, we work with you in partnership to ensure that this does not happen. We strongly encourage you to speak to the school if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.

What about absences?

There may be times when your child has to miss school because she or he is ill. Please notify us of this on the first day (and every subsequent day) of absence by 9am. If there are patterns of sickness, we work with your child, you and your health professionals to try and resolve these issues.

If your child is ill or absent for any other reason, contact the school on the first day of absence:

Contact details:

Secondary including Sixth Form: 01303 842424 or email:

Please note that for absences that extend to a week (5 school days) or more, some form of medical evidence is required; this can be in the form of a Doctor’s/walk-in centre note, copy of the prescription or sight of prescribed medication.

Illness – When should you keep your child off school?

When your child is unwell, it can be hard deciding whether to keep them off school.

Use common sense when deciding whether or not your child is too ill to attend school. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my child well enough to do the activities of the school day? If not, keep your
    child at home.

  • Does my child have a condition that could be passed on to other children or
    school staff? If so, keep your child at home.

  • Would I take a day off work if I had this condition? If so, keep your child at

The NHS also publishes a useful guideline about several common conditions.

If your child is ill, it’s likely to be due to one of a few minor health conditions. Whether you send your child to school will depend on how severe you think the illness is. Use this guidance to help you make that judgement:

Remember: if you’re concerned about your child’s health, consult a health professional.

  • Cough and cold. A child with a minor cough or cold may attend school. If the cold is accompanied by a raised temperature, shivers or drowsiness, the child should stay off school, visit the GP and return to school 24 hours after they start to feel better. If your child has a more severe and long-lasting cough, consult your GP.

  • Raised temperature. If your child has a raised temperature, they shouldn’t attend school. They can return 24 hours after they start to feel better.

  • Rash. Skin rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses, such as chickenpox and measles. Children with these conditions shouldn't attend school. If your child has a rash, check with your GP or practice nurse before sending them to school.

  • Headache. A child with a minor headache doesn’t usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as raised temperature or drowsiness, then keep the child off school and consult your GP.

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea. Children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting should definitely be kept off school until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have gone. Most cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in children get better without treatment, but if symptoms persist, consult your GP.

  • Sore throat. A sore throat alone doesn’t have to keep a child from school. But if it’s accompanied by a raised temperature, your child should stay at home.

  • Chickenpox. If your child has chickenpox, keep them off school until all their spots have crusted over.

See our Coronavirus page here.

Holiday during Term Time

Requests for holidays in term time will NOT be authorised other than in exceptional circumstances (eg family bereavement).

If the absence is not authorised by the Principal and the holiday is taken anyway, the case will be referred to KCC Attendance Service who will issue a Penalty Notice to each parent for each child taken out of school.

For more information please read our Attendance Policy via the Policy section here.