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Church of England Academy

'Strength in difference, together we are one, together we fly high'

Courage – I rise to a challenge and I am brave.

Friendship – I encourage others and build them up.

Trust – I am honest and helpful and make the right choices.

Respect – I treat others how I would like to be treated.


At Dunbury Academy we want to ensure that all pupils are happy, successful and achieve well during their time at our school. One particular aspect of school life that has a significant effect on ensuring that pupils reach their full potential is regular school attendance.


Research has consistently shown that a child with poor attendance is likely to be less successful than pupils with good attendance. 


From September, in order to encourage good attendance, the school will be closely monitoring pupils’ attendance. If a pupil has less than 90% attendance we will write to inform parents and will be looking to see how improvements can be made. If, after 3 weeks, there is no improvement in attendance parents will be invited to a meeting in school with the Headteacher and the Inclusion Manager and possibly a representative of the local authority. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss what factors may be affecting the child’s attendance and what actions can be taken to help to improve the situation.


What is good attendance?

The national average attendance in primary schools is 94%. Dunbury Academy considers 98% -100% attendance during the school year as good.


Did you realise that 90% attendance over a school year is equal to half a day’s absence per week? In a school year this means a child would miss 4 weeks of school. If this continued during their time at primary school they would miss 28 weeks which is equal to ¾ of a whole school year. So 90% is not as good as it may seem.


What can parents do to increase their child's attendance?

Ways for parents to encourage attendance:

  • Establish good attendance habits. Show them it’s important
  • Talk regularly and positively with your child about school and how they feel about it. They are more likely to want to attend and learn if they feel supported and any anxieties are listened to.
  • Phone us the same day to tell us why your child is absent and when you expect them to return.
  • Only grant days at home for genuine illness. (You will know!)
  • Arrange for a friend to take your child to school if a sibling is sick… it’s not fair to prevent a well child from learning.
  • Avoid taking holidays in school time.
  • Know routines of the school day to avoid issues, e.g. have they got their PE kit?
  • Help your child get everything ready the night before e.g. uniform, reading book
  • Establish a good bedtime routine, so your child can sleep well, get enough sleep and make mornings less of a struggle!
  • Talk to us -we may be able to help and support you and your child. You are not alone. We can work together to find solutions so that little problems don’t become big ones.
  • Allow plenty of time to travel to school
  • PRAISE AND REWARD GOOD ATTENDANCE: even small successes, e.g. getting ready quickly, even if resisting going to school.


We hope this information is useful and enables us to work together to achieve success for all pupils at Dunbury Academy.


Further information can be found in our Attendance Management (Pupils) policy which can be found by clicking here.


If you have any questions or wish to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact us through the school office.

Term time holidays


It is not possible for headteachers to authorise any term time holidays in all but the most exceptional circumstances. As you may be aware, the High Court ruled against a parent contesting a penalty notice resulting from holiday taken in term time and as a result, Dorset County Council has revised its protocol for issuing penalty notices. You can view Dorset County Council’s protocol in full via the link below, but in brief, “The level of absence that is necessary before a Penalty Notice can be issued is 10 or more half days of unauthorised absence within a 12 school week period”.


Dorset County Council Children's Services Penalty Notice Protocol