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Meopham Community Academy

Enjoy, Learn, Aspire


Every minute of every school day matters! 

At Meopham Community Academy, we believe that regular and punctual attendance at school, are key elements in promoting children’s learning and attainment.  Only by regular attendance can children access the quality education that is offered at our school.  We believe that regular attendance should be 97% or higher. 

We are therefore, committed to the following principles: – 

  • To encourage all pupils to attend school and achieve their full potential. 

  • To promote good attendance throughout the school, aiming for at least 96% for the academic year 

  • To monitor attendance and punctuality rigorously 

  • To work in partnership with parents and carers in promoting excellent attendance and punctuality, as well as the LA and other agencies 

At Meopham Community Academy we have a diverse range of pupils from different backgrounds and needs with a range of different views on attendance.  We track attendance of many of these different groups and work with families and individuals where attendance has dipped. 

Why is attendance important? 

  • There is a link between good school attendance and high attainment. 

  • Promotes children's welfare and safeguarding 

  • Enables pupils to access the widest possible range of opportunities 

  • Encourage good friendships with peers 

Regular school attendance is an important part of giving your child the best possible start in life and is important to your child's future. 
Did you know... 

96% attendance is regarded as minimum satisfaction by the Government. Parents / carers are legally responsible for ensuring their child attends school on time every day. 

What you can do to help. 

  • Find out the term dates and make sure your child is ready. 

  • Get as much prepared the evening before to save time in the morning. Check your alarm is set! 

  • Build regular routines for bedtime and the morning. Primary children need about 10hours sleep each night. 

  • Talk about the importance of regular attendance and how your child feels about school. 

  • Where possible all medical appointments to be booked outside of school hours. The amount of disruption to learning time should be kept to a minimum if this is not possible. 

  • Try to arrange a back-up plan for getting to school if there are unforeseen circumstances. Ask family member, neighbour or another parent to help. 

What to do if you need to report an absence 

  • Ring the school office, before 9:30am, to report the absence and reason 01471 812259 

  • You must ring on every day of absence. 


Medical Appointments 

Where possible all medical appointments should be made outside of school times. Where this is not possible, disruption to learning should be kept to a minimum. Schools may not authorise the time off if medical evidence is not provided. 
Illness - too ill to attend school? 

Your child can attend school with minor ailments such as toothache, headache, stomach ache, cold and sore throats. Over the counter medications can be given before school. 

School will contact you if your child becomes too ill to remain in school. 

If your child has diarrhoea or vomiting, they should not return to school until 24 hours after their last episode or symptom. 

You MUST contact the school on each day of absence.

Medical evidence we accept: 

You do not have to attend a GP practice in order to provide the school with medical evidence. Below is a list of acceptable evidence. 

  • Appointment cards 

  • Appointment letters 

  • Screenshot of NHS appointment text 

  • Photograph of the electronic booking system (Hospital and Doctors) 

  • Photograph of medicine label 

  • Photograph of prescription (before it is cashed) 

  • A Pharmacist visit note 

All of the above can be sent via the Arbor app to the Office so that the office have the evidence. Do not send to the class teacher. 


Leave of Absence 

School term dates are always available from the school office or website.  

You should arrange family holidays during school holiday times. The school does not grant leave of absence for family holidays and parents are likely to face a penalty notice for taking children out of school during term time. 


Persistent Absence 

The Department for Education definition of “persistent absence” is any child whose attendance falls below 90%. 

Any child whose attendance falls below 90% is classed as a persistent absentee and may be referred to the Education Welfare Officer. This may lead to court action. 

Why is it Important to be Punctual? 

Being on time for school is so important. Lost minutes amount to lost learning. Also, being late means your child has an unsettled start to their day. 


Children arriving late may seriously disrupt not only their continuity of learning but also that of others. When pupils arrive late after the close of registers and fail to provide an adequate explanation they may be marked as unauthorised for that session. 

If your child is late to school they might: 

  • Be embarrassed or unsettled 

  • Miss important information 

  • Miss the start to learning 

  • Miss opportunities to socialise with their friends at the start of the school day. 

10 minutes late every day = 36 hours lost learning each year! 


We are Here to Help 

If you feel you need support with your child’s attendance or punctuality, please contact the school and ask to make an appointment to see Mrs Casey, Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion.