Portsdown Primary School Attendance Information Leaflet Jan 2024

Dear Parents and carers,

This month, the Government is launching a national campaign to remind parents and carers of the importance of school attendance. Improving school attendance is everyone’s business and, to tackle the challenge we face, we need to work together. The campaign strapline is “Moments matter, attendance counts”.

To support this campaign, we have produced a Portsdown Attendance Leaflet for you. (click on the link above) All children have been given a paper copy of it.

The campaign’s aim is to reach those parents and carers whose children are taking preventable odd days of absence – or “avoidable absence” – rather than children who face greater barriers to attendance, such as those with long term medical needs.

Regular school attendance can lead to better relationships with their friends, which is a protective factor for mental health and wellbeing.

Before Covid, in 2018/19, just 40% of children whose attendance was below 90% (persistently absent) at the end of Year 6 achieved expected KS2 standards, compared with 84% of children who were regular attenders

Have a look at the Attendance Leaflet and let us know what you think. Should we add anything else? Is there anything on it that is not clear? Come and find one of our Senior leaders on the drive at the start or end of the day to let us know.

Thank you for supporting your child’s attendance.

Mr Vaghela, Headteacher.

Drop off at the start of the school day

The school doors open at 8:45am. This is when school starts.

Collecting at the end of the school day

Please collect your child at 3:15pm (unless they are at an after-school club).

In a typical week, the school is open for a total of 32.5 hours a week (6.5 hours a day) from 8:45am -3:15pm.

Click on me to view our Child Friendly Attendance Policy 2023 

Please see the Policies section of the website for the latest Attendance Policy.  https://portsdownprimary.co.uk/policies/ 

Click here to see more information about  attendance Attendance Newsletter Jan 2024

Portsmouth Attendance Campaign

The new ‘Miss School, Miss Out’ campaign aims to improve school attendance levels in the city by highlighting to parents / carers and students what they can achieve if they have good attendance and reach their full potential, as well as illustrating how missing school can limit their future lives.

98%-100% Excellent Attendance
96%-98% Possibility of underachievement
90%-96% Risk of underachievement
Less than 90% Extreme risk of under achievement


As a parent/carer you want the best for your children. Having a good education is an important factor in opening up more opportunities in adult life. Did you know that:

  • a child who is absent a day of school per week misses an equivalent of two years of their school life
  • 90% of young people with absence rates below 85% fail to achieve five or more good grades of GCSE and around one third achieve no GCSEs at all
  • poor examination results limit young people’s options and poor attendance suggests to colleges and employers that these students are unreliable
  • poor school attendance is also closely associated with crime. A quarter of school age offenders have truanted repeatedly
  • at least 1 million children take at least one half day off a year without permission
  • 7.5 million school days are missed each year through unauthorised absence.

 Absence from school

Children are required by law to attend school 190 days a year. The government states that every pupil’s attendance should be at least 96%. Being LATE after registration will also LOWER your attendance.

Attendance during 1 school year Equals-days absence Equals number of weeks of absence
95% 9 days 2 weeks
90% 19 days 4 weeks
85% 29 days 6 weeks
80% 38 days 8 weeks
75% 48 days 10 weeks


Attendance Matters What to do
Good school attendance is very important for your child’s academic performance and social interaction with their peers. Ensure your child is in school everyday on time.
Please ensure your child is in school on time and attending school every day.  When your child is ill, and we are aware that this does happen, you must report it to the school immediately. Contact school by telephone and select option 1 to leave a message on the absence notification line. Alternatively use the Study Bugs app. Please contact the school each day your child is absent with a valid reason.  We may ask you to provide medical evidence.

If your child is late to school, they will to come into school through the front office.  You will be asked for a reason for why they are late.

If you know your child will be late, please inform school and order your child’s dinner by contacting the office by no later than 9.15am. If you miss this time please send your child in with a packed lunch.

Attendance is monitored on a daily basis by the Attendance Officer.  The Attendance Officer may contact you if a reason for absence is not given.  Absence is authorised when; a legally acceptable reason is given or when medical evidence is provided.  You may be invited to school for a meeting with the Attendance Officer and/or the School Nurse to discuss ways the school can support you in improving your child’s attendance.

If your child does not have regular attendance the Attendance Officer may write to you asking you to provide medical evidence for future absences. If this happens, the letter will explain what evidence is acceptable, i.e. letter from your doctor.

If the school is not given a reason for absence, the absence will be marked as an ‘unauthorised’ absence.
If your child reaches 10 sessions of unauthorised absence in a term, the school may need to refer to the school attendance team for consideration of a fixed penalty notice or a school attendance panel.

Persistent absences may lead to legal action being taken by the school attendance team which may result in a substantial fine.

Further information can be found in the school’s attendance policy.

Thank you for your co-operation

Did you know that last year, one in five children in Portsmouth each missed a total of one week of school through unauthorised absence? That means they not only missed out on lessons but also school clubs, friendships and school trips, leaving gaps in their learning which could limit their future options in life.

You can find out more about school attendance at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/attendance and by joining the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #MissSchoolMissOut

Healthier Together Should Your Child Go To School Today

NHS guidance on attendanceThis NHS website give parents information about what to do if your child is unwell. It will help you decide whether it is appropriate to keep your child at home or send them to school.


Advice on  bugs and keeping well

While this advice was released for winter, we will keep it on our website as it is a useful reference tool.

Clare Joy – an NHS school nurse working locally – explains in this short video some top tips on keeping winter bugs at bay and using the Healthier Together app for advice.

You can watch on the Hampshire and Isle of Wight NHS YouTube channel.

Download Healthier Together for advice with common childhood illnesses

Healthier Together

It can sometimes be hard for parents to know the best way to help children recover from winter bugs. Healthier Together has been developed by local clinicians and gives simple advice on how to help them get better at home.

The app will also help you to spot the signs if it is something more serious and guide you to the right help. Visit what0-18.nhs.uk, download from the App Store or get it on Google Play.

The UK Health Security Agency have also published helpful advice on spotting the signs of when to keep children home. You can visit the Hampshire and Isle of Wight NHS winter wellness web page for more advice on keeping warm and well.