Skip to content ↓


We aim to ensure that all children attend school regularly and on time wherever possible to ensure that they are able to make the most of the educational experiences offered at Byker Primary School. We also aim to raise an awareness of the importance of attendance with our families and so to improve the level and profile of attendance.

Why is attendance at school important?

School education lays the vital foundations of a child’s life. Research clearly demonstrates the link between regular attendance and educational progress and attainment. Parent/carers and the school should work in partnership in making education a success and in ensuring that all children have full and equal access to all that the school has to offer. As a school, we will encourage parents and carers to ensure that their child achieves maximum possible attendance and that any problems that prevent this are identified and acted upon promptly.

Statistics show a direct link with attendance below 96%

Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and absence below 96%.  Those children who attend regularly:

  • make better progress, both socially and academically
  • find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with
  • find learning more satisfying
  • make the most successful transitions between primary and secondary schools, higher education and employment or training
As a school we aim to:
  • maintain an attendance rate of a minimum of 96%
  • ensure attendance is monitored regularly
  • take action to support persistent absentees
  • maintain parents’/carers’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance
Parental Responsibility:

School gates open at 8.40am and school begins at 8.50am (at which point the internal doors close).  All pupils who arrive late must report to the school office, where they will be registered.  Pupils who arrive after 9.30am, when the registers close, will be marked as absent for the morning session.  

Parents should:

  • Only keep their children off school if necessary.  Making this decision can be difficult at times, The NHS Little Orange Book gives exert advise on childhood illnesses and when to keep children at home.  School staff are always happy to help with advice too if you are unsure.  
  • Telephone 0191 2656906 on the first morning of all absences before 9.30am, stating the reason for absence and sharing medical appointments/evidence.
  • Arrange dental and doctor’s appointments out of school hours, or during school holidays wherever possible.
  • Keep us updated daily by telephone, letter or email if your child has an extended period of absence due to illness.
  • Discuss with school office/class teacher any planned absences well in advance and only request leave of absence if it is for an exceptional circumstance by completing the Leave of Absence form, available from the school office.

At Byker we believe that engaging the school community and offering targeted support are priorities in improving school attendance. We have three attendance monitoring points across the academic year, one in each term.  At these points our Attendance Team analyse whole-school data and decide what, if any, action needs to be taken.  We will then contact parents/carers to offer bespoke advice and/or support, tailored to their individual needs.  

If you feel that you need some advice or support regarding your child's attendance, please get in touch via the 'Pastoral Support Contact Form' which can be found as PDF below.

Is my child too ill to attend?

Parents and carers should use the NHS 'Is my child too ill for school?' guidance when deciding whether or not to keep your child off if they are unwell.  If you ring school, we always use the NHS guidance to inform our advice to parents and carers.

You can view the NHS website for medical Guidance by clicking here

Supporting you and your child

We know that when a child's attendance dips, there is always a reason for this. From an early stage we will let you know if we notice your child's attendance is starting to cause a concern. These are the steps we will take to work with you to improve your child's attendance:

1. Attendance Check-In: We'll invite you to either meet with us in person or over the phone for an 'attendance check in'. At our check in we will have a chat about any reasons why your child's attendance might have dipped and how we can work together to get it back to where it needs to be. We can work with you in many different ways to overcome many challenges, and if we can't support you, we can help you find the support you need. At our attendance meeting, we'll agree what you will do as parents and what we'll do as a school to help support change. We will type these up into an agreement called a 'Parent Contract' - this is an agreement between the school and parents on the actions we will all take. 

2. Work-in-Partnership: Following the attendance check-in, the school and the parents will be expected to work on all of the agreed points. We will then agree a date to have a check-in to look at your child's attendance following the agreed support - usually at this point we notice an improvement and we will only check-in again if we need to discuss further support or if concerns about your child's attendance return. 

If concerns continue:

3. Internal Monitoring: If we still have concerns about your child's attendance, we will inform you that we need to internally monitor your child's attendance for 30 days. This means that we will keep a close eye on your child's attendance every day for 30 days - we will not be able to authorise any absences unless we have medical evidence (e.g. a medical appointment letter, note from a GP or prescription). After 30 days if there have been no further unauthorised absences, we will let you know that the 30 day internal monitoring is passed and will check-in to see if we can offer any further support working together. 

4. Referral to the Local Authority for legal monitoring: During the internal monitoring 30 days, if there are further unauthorised absences, we have to refer your child's attendance concerns to the Local Authority. This may result in legal monitoring which can ultimately lead to fines or prosecution. We really don't want to reach this stage and want to work with you to overcome any barriers or issues before this point.