Skip to content ↓
The Downs Primary School & Nursery

The Downs Primary School & Nursery

Attendance and the School Day

For attendance queries please email 

The current law does not give any entitlement to parents to take their child out of school during term time.  The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 prohibits Headteachers from granting leave of absence to a pupil except where an application has been made in advance and the Headteacher considers that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.   

There is no entitlement to parents to take their child out of school during term time, however, you may apply to the school for leave of absence if you believe there are exceptional circumstances.

Taking your child out of school during term time could be detrimental to your child’s educational progress.  A pupil who takes 10 days absence will only attain 94.7% attendance in the year. 10 days absence also means the pupil will miss 50 hours of education.


Morning session: 08.30am  – 11.30am                               

Afternoon session: 12.30pm – 3.30pm

All day session: 8.30am – 3.30pm


School day:   8.40am -8.50am  – 3.15pm: 

Lunchtime: 11.45am - 12.45pm

Years 1 to 4:
Lunchtime     12.00noon - 1.00pm 

Upper Key Stage 2:
Lunchtime:    12.15pm - 1.15pm 

The school cannot accept responsibility for children who arrive at school before 8:40am, unless they attend our School Breakfast Club (more information can be found in the Our Breakfast Club page of this website). Children in KS1 and EYFS must not be left unattended by parents until they are safely in their class lines.

Our school day begins with the morning bell at 8.40am  (8.50am for reception). We expect all children to arrive to school on time. Children who are frequently late for school or leave before the end of the day miss valuable learning time. Children arriving after 9.00am are marked late and need to report to the school office to sign in.  Children arriving after 9.15am without prior notice will be registered as unauthorised late. Parents are asked to make every effort to ensure that medical appointments are made for out of school hours. The School’s Executive Headteacher closely monitors pupils’ attendance and punctuality regularly. (Our Attendance Policy can be viewed in the Policies section of this website).

Expectations for attendance

We have high expectations for every pupil’s attendance at school and we try to communicate these expectations clearly and consistently to parents and pupils, often through the newsletter, letters sent to parents and through meetings.

If we need to have a meeting we will explain to parents and pupils why good attendance is important and how it helps pupils to achieve for example, pupils who aren’t attending aren’t learning.

We will listen to parents carefully to find out why their children are not attending so we can act accordingly. This means challenging parents who do not make sure that their children attend and offering support where needed.

We ensure that attendance is always recorded accurately and analysed for patterns and trends, which then helps target action, both for individuals and at a whole-school level.

We understand that good attendance does not happen in isolation – there is a relationship between attendance and the quality of the school’s curriculum, ethos, behaviour and inclusivity.
We believe securing good attendance is an ongoing process that is never finished.