Cannon Lane

Primary School

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Attendance Matters

At Cannon Lane Primary School, we believe that attendance is fundamental to children’s learning and is central to them being happy, safe, and successful. Children should attend school every day that it is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.


Research shows that there is a strong correlation between high attendance and high achievement. All children have the right to an education (Article 28). Therefore, we encourage and aim for 100% attendance for all children; as being in school will positively impact on children’s achievement, well-being, and wider development.


If children attend school regularly, they will:

•  make better progress, both socially and academically;

•  find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with;

•  find learning more satisfying and settle into high school more easily;

•  develop responsible learning habits which will prepare them for higher education and for their working life.


Children’s secure understanding of the work and excellent progress can only happen when they are in the classroom regularly and on time. An absence, for whatever reason, will disadvantage children by creating gaps in their learning.

Cannon Lane Primary School has an attendance target of 97%. School registers are checked daily by the Attendance Team, and poor attendance is monitored and followed up with phone calls to parents and carers to ascertain the reason for the absence. We work closely with the Attendance Team at the Local Authority who will support us to implement Early Intervention and support and work together with parents. The following process is followed where there are concerns.



School actions

Local Authority Attendance Team Services

Local Authority Children’s Services







Phase 1

First day response – log of texts/calls


1st school letter of concern – after either 5 unauthorised days (10 sessions) or attendance drops below 90%. School to set monitoring period to review attendance.


If no improvement during monitoring period – Second letter of concern to be issued.


Educational Penalty Notice (EPN) to be issued when threshold for unauthorised absence is met






Issue EPN if required






Phase 2

Meeting/School Attendance panel with parents


  • Complete referral form with parental agreement for Early Support 
  • School and parents to sign attendance contract
  • School to inform parents about possible referral to LA pre-court panel and specify monitoring period


Referral form received and considered by Education Services

Early Support Worker allocated




Phase 3

If no progress has happened and further unauthorised absences have occurred, school to send Pre-Court Panel referral form to LA with chronology.


School to attend pre-court panel meeting with LA.

Review chronology, arrange pre-court panel if appropriate.



Phase 4


If no progress or engagement at Pre-Court Panel after monitoring period, LA to pursue court action.

*London Borough of Harrow Education Services AIM Guidance 2023-24


The attendance for each class will be published on a weekly basis. The class with the highest weekly attendance will be recognised in Celebration Assembly on Fridays where they will receive a certificate, and look after the Attendance Trophy and Arnie (the Attendance Armadillo) for the following week. Children who have 100% attendance for the whole school year will have this achievement acknowledged and celebrated at the end of the academic year.

Our new Attendance certificate, trophy and Arnie (the Attendance Armadillo)


It is equally important that learning begins on time. Being even 5 minutes late will have an impact on children’s learning. If a child is late by 10 minutes every day, this equates to fifty minutes of lost learning over one week, 5 hours of lost learning over an average half term and 5 days of lost learning over an academic year! Gates open at 8.30am for children to be in school, whether going straight into their classrooms for soft start or waiting in the playground for their class teachers to collect them. Please make sure that the children arrive to school in good time so that they are ready to learn on time. 


Absences during Term Time

Regular and punctual attendance of pupils at school is both a legal requirement and essential in order for pupils to maximise the educational opportunities available to them. There is no entitlement to time off during term time. Cannon Lane Primary School will only authorise absence during term time under a permitted reason or in exceptional circumstances.


If children are absent, parents and carers are responsible for contacting the school (either by telephone or email) on the first day of the absence to notify the Attendance Team of the reasons for the absence and an expected date for the child returning to school. If the child is away from school for a longer period of time, it is important for parents and carers to keep in touch and update the Attendance Team accordingly.


If the reason for the absence falls outside the remit of the government guidance, or is not an exceptional circumstance, the absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’. It is an offence under section 444 of the Education Act 1996 if “a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school...” If a child goes abroad during a school holiday period, the parent must make definite arrangements so that they return in good time for school re-opening. Absence claimed for unexpected delays will require documentary evidence together and proof of travel on original return dates that would have indicated a timely return to school. If a child remains abroad at the beginning of a school term and is away for an extended period of time, parents may be advised that their child is at risk of being removed from the school roll.


If parents and carers take children out of school during term time without the proper authorisation, the school has a duty to report this to the Local Authority, who has the power to issue Educational Penalty Notices of £60, rising to £120 if not paid within 28 days. Parents and carers should also be aware that Educational Penalty Notices will be issued to each person with parental responsibility for each child. Therefore, for planned absences, it is important that parents and carers complete the Request for Leave of Absence During Term Time Google Form in a timely manner.  If you have any issues with completing this form online, please contact the school office. 

This week's Attendance Champions are...