Bourn Church of England Primary Academy

Absence Due to Illness, School Attendance and Term Time Absence


Daily attendance at school is important for children to succeed in education and to ensure that they don’t fall behind, both socially and developmentally. We expect all pupils on roll to attend every day when the School is in session, as long as they are fit and healthy to do so.

There are 190 days teaching days in a school year. Each day consists of two sessions (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), which means there is a total of 380 sessions in a year.

If a child’s attendance is at 90%, this is equivalent to 4 weeks of lost learning, which can significantly hinder a child’s progress. 

The attendance of all children is monitored half termly by the Headteacher and Attendance Officer. Pupils whose attendance falls below 95% are a cause for concern. Parents will receive a letter letting them know that their child’s attendance is a cause for concern. Where a pupil’s attendance falls below 90%, they are classed as being a Persistent Absentee, and parents will be contacted to discuss ways of improving their child’s attendance.

It is acknowledged that much absence will be genuine illness and therefore unavoidable, but the impact on learning is still as significant. We will make the best provision we can for those pupils who, due to exceptional circumstances, are prevented from coming to School. This will include Remote Learning for Covid related absence, where a child is well.

 Bourn Primary’s Attendance Policy


The school gate opens at 8.35am. A bell will ring for the register to begin at 8.50am and all children should be in their classroom by this time. The gate will close at 8.50am.

Any children arriving after the gate closes at 8.50am will need to report to the office and will be marked as Late.

Children begin Early Morning Work as soon as they arrive in school. Any child arriving late will have missed this opportunity to practice skills and begin the day calmly. Being late often unsettles children so we ask parents to make every effort to ensure their child arrives in good time.  

The attendance register officially closes at 9.20 a.m. and any pupil arriving after this time is marked with an unauthorised absence for the morning session.

Absence due to Illness

It is very important that you let us know if your child will be absent. If we do not have notification that your child will be absent, our safeguarding process means we will need to make contact with you by phone. If no contact can be made, we may need to make a home visit or call the police for a Safe and Well check.

In cases of sickness and diarrhoea, please ensure your child remains off school for 48 hours since the last episode of sickness or diarrhoea.

Please do not send your child in to school if they are not well enough to be there, bearing in mind they will be required to work hard and play outside.

if your child is unwell

If your child is unwell, please email each day that your child is absent. You can alternatively call 01954 719282 before 9.15 a.m. on the first morning of their absence and each morning thereafter and follow the instructions on the absence line (option 1), leaving your name, your child’s name and the reason for the child’s absence.

 Medical/Dental and Other Appointments

Please try to organise medical/dental and other appointments to be outside the school day if possible. If a pupil is required to attend an appointment during the School day please let us know in advance, giving the details of the appointment.

Requests for Term Time Absence

Parents/carers must not book family holidays during term time apart from under very exceptional circumstances. Cost of holiday, not being able to take leave in school holidays or not having seen relatives for a length of time does not constitute exceptional circumstances. There are only 190 teaching days in the school year, leaving 175 days for other activities. 

Changes to Section 444 of the Education Act 1996, brought into effect in September 2013, removes the right of Head Teachers to authorise term time leave; therefore, all applications for leave in term time will be unauthorised unless there are exceptional circumstances, which must be detailed in writing (using the Application for parents/carers for leave of absence during term time, which is accessible at the bottom of this page, or from the School Office) at least 2 weeks prior to the removal of your child from School.

Unauthorised leave of absence may lead to a referral to the Education Welfare Service, which may result in a penalty fine or legal proceedings in the Magistrates Court.  Please look at the attendance portal on the Cambridgeshire County Council website for more information.

If you are planning to take your child out of school, even though you are aware it will be an unauthorised absence, please complete a form so that we know the reason for your child’s absence. Where the school has reason to believe that a child is absent due to a reason other than that given, we will follow this up with parents.

Application for Leave of Absence Form