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Children and young people with good attendance at school are more likely to achieve their full potential both academically and socially

Attending school regularly and punctually is a statutory requirement for all children and young people from the age of 5 to 16 years.

Good attendance

Good attendance at school means attending every day.

Rewards at primary schools are in place with Blackpool Council and our partners to reward good school attendance. A 100% attendance party at Blackpool Football Club is held annually for primary aged children to celebrate attending school every day for the academic year.

Individual schools also have their own initiatives to reward and promote good school attendance for their students.

Poor attendance

Regular school attendance is of great importance.

Without good attendance children and young people miss out on valuable learning opportunities and friendships.

Research shows that children and young people with poor attendance are less likely to do well both at school and in their adult life. Children and young people who are not in school regularly are more at risk of exploitation and either becoming victims of crime or engaging in crime.

In Blackpool we want the best outcomes for all our children and young people and therefore want our children in school so that they are safe and have the same learning opportunities irrespective of their individual circumstances.

To offer an example of what attendance means - a percentage of 90% attendance in an academic school year is 19 days absence, creating missed learning opportunities. Therefore whilst the percentage may appear to be high and ‘good,’ the number of days lost is a lot, which will have a negative impact on a child’s learning.

Legal responsibilities

Parents of compulsory school aged children aged 5 to 16 years have a legal responsibility with regard to ensuring regular and punctual attendance at school. Poor school attendance can result in legal proceedings; therefore parents are encouraged to work together with schools and services if they are having difficulties.

At the end of every academic year all councils have to report back to the Department for Education (DFE) the students who have finished their education at 90% and below. This level of attendance is called Persistent Absence (PA). Therefore various initiatives and interventions throughout the academic year will be taken by the schools and the pupil welfare service to try and prevent as many students falling into this category as possible. Parents of children in this category with unauthorised absences are at risk of legal intervention unless improvement is noted and sustained.

In addition, there are sanctions on parents for taking children and young people out of school for a family holiday. This can result in a penalty notice being issued per parent per child and therefore parents are encouraged to read their child’s school policy before a holiday is considered.

Improving attendance

In order to enable children and young people to achieve their full potential: -

  • Where possible, make medical appointments outside of school hours
  • Plan holidays when schools are closed – be aware of return dates following half term holidays
  • Check the school day and school calendar in advance
  • Actively encourage regular school attendance
  • Communicate with school immediately to resolve any concerns or worries, rather than keep the child off school


If you are concerned about a child that you believe may not be attending school, please contact the Pupil Welfare and the matter will be referred to a pupil welfare officer for investigation.

Likewise, if you are a parent that is concerned about your child not attending school, please contact the pupil welfare service and your child’s school.

Pupil welfare service

PO Box 4, Blackpool, FY1 1NA
Telephone 01253 476478