Skip to content ↓


Good attendance, great learning

Going to school regularly is important for your child’s future. Parents are responsible for making sure their children receive full-time education. Talking to your child and their teachers could help solve any problems if your child does not want to go to school. 

A priority for our school is promoting consistently high attendance. Our analysis of pupil outcomes demonstrates a direct link between consistently good attendance and positive pupil progress.


We work with families to understand and overcome the barriers that may be stopping children from attending school. Catherine Hudson, VIce Principal and Attendance Lead monitors attendance to ensure  potential issues are quickly picked up. One of the ways we can help is to signpost parents to other services and to support families to access what they are entitled to.

Our expectation is that children should be in school on average 95% or more over the year and we promote this further through recognition in assembly and close analysis of trends.

Absence during term time can only be  authorised by the Principal in exceptional circumstances and for a maximum of 10 days. Before booking leave of absence, we strongly recommend arranging a meeting to discuss your plans.


Ashford Hill Primary adopts the 5 Foundations of Effective Attendance Practice framework.  This is modelled on the work of Professor Katherine Weare. The emphasis is on developing a school culture and climate which builds a sense of connectedness and belonging to ensure all children can attend school and thrive.  The approach ensures we prioritise building solid working relationships with children/ parents prior to any escalation.  The staged approach ensures we identify triggers early that can lead to poor attendance issues such as; mental health issues, lack of trust, communication and relationship breakdowns and the possible lack of networking opportunities both internal (in-school) and external (external agencies).


  • Increase school Attendance and reduce Persistent Absence to meet set targets.
  • Ensure Attendance is well managed within the school, with the appropriate level of resources allocated.
  • Enable the school to make informed use of Attendance data to target interventions appropriately, focusing on the key demographic groups highlighted in the 2022 DfE paper.


  • Create an ethos within the school in which good attendance is recognised as the norm and every child/young person aims for excellent attendance.
  • Make attendance and punctuality a priority.
  • Set focused targets to improve individual attendance and whole school attendance levels.
  • Embed the 5 Foundations of Effective Attendance Practice framework which defines agreed roles and responsibilities and promotes consistency in carrying out designated tasks with respect to promoting attendance and punctuality.
  • Record and monitor attendance and absenteeism and apply appropriate strategies to minimise absenteeism.
  • Develop a systematic approach to gathering and analysing relevant attendance data.
  • Provide support, advice and guidance to; parents, children and young people and develop mutual-cooperation between home and the school in encouraging good attendance and in addressing identified attendance issues.
  • Demonstrate through the use of rewards that the school recognises good attendance and punctuality are achievements in themselves.  

Ashford Hill's approach is evidence-informed and completely child-centred.  Each Foundation is supported by 5 Key Performance Indicators. These are used to ensure the school can embed the Foundations framework and understand the strategic direction regarding attendance improvement.  

The framework allows the school to understand the whole school approach to supporting and improving attendance – Ashford Hill is a place where every child belongs.  We create welcoming environments to allow all children to gain a sense of belonging and ultimately achieve academically through regular school attendance. 

The school policy is translated into practise through the processes and systems we follow. The escalated approach supports children at each stage.  Parents who do not engage with support understand why, at times, we must follow this process. 

All staff receive attendance training to support the whole school approach, they understand their role in improving attendance. Certain staff are identified to engage in specialist training to continue to support families and children who work with external partners.

We use data information to support children, this allows us to understand the groups, and individuals, who require specific programmes of intervention. Reviewing each programme allows us to understand the effectiveness of support and change what is not working.

Finally, we train and support all staff to understand the ‘root cause’ of concerns. Staff use the wider curriculum to allow all children to feel valued and accept themselves.  We celebrate attendance success and ensure children returning from long absence receive a planned transition.

DfE: Working Together To Improve Attendance 2022

From September 2022, the DfE: Working Together To Improve Attendance paper will replace all previous guidance on school attendance except for statutory guidance for parental responsibility measures.  The Secretary of State has committed to it becoming statutory when parliamentary time allows (this will be no sooner than September 2023). 

The table below identifies how the 5 Foundations of Effective Practice will underpin the DfE 2022 paper:

Our Attendance Procedure - which is one of the documents at the bottom of the page - details the school's steps we take to support the 5 Foundations but also the role you, as parents, have to play in your child's attendance at Phoenix Infant Academy. 

Who should you contact? 

The school encourages families who are experiencing difficulties with attendance to contact the school and seek support as early as possible. 

For help regarding absence, parents contact: Catherine Hudson (Vice Principal) on 0118 9813882