It is vital that parents/carers notify the school of any changes to their personal details. This includes the details of any person who is nominated as an emergency contact.


Just One Norfolk

Children’s Commissioner Guide for Parents on School Attendance

How you can help your child have good attendance:

  • Get into good routines: start the year right and make attendance a priority, or even better, get into good habits from the start of nursery!
  • Show an interest in school and education; attend parents meetings, concerts and other school events.
  • Talk about school at home: ask your child what they’re learning, how their friends are and how they’re getting on.
  • Encourage your child to take part in school activities.
  • Don’t let your child take time off school for minor ailments: particularly those which would not stop you from going to work.
  • Where possible, make appointments outside of school hours.
  • Take family holidays during school holiday time only.
  • Encourage your child to tell you about any problems they may have at school. If you know or think that your child is having difficulties attending school, you should contact the school straight away.
  • Acknowledge, praise and reward good or improved attendance, even small successes.

School attendance can be a real challenge for a variety of reasons. You can find advice and support on, or speak to a member of staff for help.

Persistent Absence








‘On the day’ absences: what should I do if my child is not ‘fit’ to go into school?

On each day your child is unfit to come to school, please report this absence using the absence line on 01508 480335 to let us know. In the message you must leave your child’s full name, year and class and give the specific reason for absence. The information you give will be recorded on our official register.


Pupils are expected to arrive on time for school in the morning and for every lesson during the day. Your child is late to school if they are not in class by 8.50am.

The Government remains very clear that no child should miss school apart from in exceptional circumstances and schools must continue to take steps to reduce absence to support children’s attainment.  I hope we can count on your support in this matter.

Please contact your child’s class teacher initially if you require any support with ensuring your child’s regular school attendance.

Attendance at school and legal intervention

The Local Authority operates a system where any pupil with at least 9 sessions (4.5 school days) of unauthorised absence within 6 school weeks meets the criteria for legal intervention. The intervention could be in the form of a fixed penalty notice. Any pupil at Thurton CE Primary School who meets that criteria, will be referred to the Local Authority for action to be considered.

If issued, the penalty notice is £60 when paid within the 21 days, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. When penalty notices are issued, each parent will receive one per child. Therefore, each parent could receive multiple notices if they have more than one child who has been absent. Failure to pay the total amount within the timescale will result in legal action being taken.

There is no right of appeal against a fixed penalty notice.

In some circumstances, the Norfolk County Council Attendance Team may choose not to issue a penalty notice and may instead choose to prosecute a parent under the Education Act 1996 S444.

Requests for leave of absence

The DfE advises all schools that they should only grant a leave of absence during term time in exceptional circumstances, considering each request on a case-by-case basis. If a leave of absence is granted, it is for the head teacher to determine the length of the time the pupil can be away from school. Although we recognise the value and benefits of family holidays, it is unlikely a leave of absence will be granted for a family holiday during term time as they would not typically be seen as an exceptional circumstance.

If the school does not receive a request for leave, we will be unable to consider your individual circumstances and the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. Head teachers are not obligated to reconsider authorising leave if an application was not made in advance.

A copy of our Absence Request form can be obtained from the school office or downloaded here.