Pen Mill Infant and Nursery Academy

Strong foundations, greater opportunities.

Our child centred, language rich curriculum will enable every pupil to maximize their potential. They will recognise their strengths, develop a love for learning and be fully prepared for the next stage of their journey.


Attendance expectation

Regular and punctual attendance at school is both a legal requirement and essential for children and young people to maximise their educational opportunities.

The expectation is that every child should be in school, every day, unless they are too unwell to attend.  It is taken into account that children are likely to be unwell at some point during the school year and as a result the attendance expectation here at Pen Mill is set to at least 96%.

Pen Mill Academy has produced an attendance pyramid to support and guide you in understanding the attendance process.

Types of absences

The school day is split into two sessions.  Any absence from school must be classed as either authorised or unauthorised.  Absences are coded as authorised where reasons given are considered valid and unauthorised where no explanation or an unacceptable reason is given.  Please be mindful that holidays would be coded as unauthorised.

Illness and first day call

If your child is unable to attend school through illness, it is your duty to inform us by telephone on the first day of the absence before 9am with a brief reason for the illness and the expected date of return. If the school office has not received this information you will be contacted as a safeguarding measure, so that we can be sure of your child’s whereabouts.

If your child is absent through illness or they have a medical appointment which can be evidenced, this will normally be classed as authorised however, where there are concerns as to excessive absence patterns through illness, we shall seek to discuss this with you in order to gain a better understanding of the issues and to offer support.

In order to cause as little disruption to your child’s learning the school would encourage you to make routine appointments (GP, dentist, opticians) outside of the school day.


We ask that all parents ensure their child/children arrive in school every day in time for registration.  The classroom doors open from 8:45am.  Any child arriving after the register closes at 9:00am will be marked as late and will need to be signed in at the school office.  Where a child arrives after 9:15am, they will be classed as unauthorised.

Requests for term-time absence

The amendments (2006 regulations) state that the Headteacher may only grant leave of absence during term time for exceptional circumstances.  Please complete a request for term-time absence which is available from the school office.

Why does attendance matter?

Research shows that there is a direct link between good attendance and achievement in school.  Poor attendance can have a direct effect on a pupil's attainment.

For example, 90% attendance might sound acceptable but what it really means in reality is...

  • on average half a day's school missed every week
  • this would also mean in one year 4 whole weeks of schooling is missed
  • in 5 years it would mean half of a school year is missed

More information

For more information regarding attendance please refer to the school’s Attendance Policy and the school attendance pyramid.  Further guidance for parents is also available on the attached leaflet.


Requests for absence in term-time for children

Parents should complete Request for absence in term-time form and return to the school office. Request for absence in term-time form is available from the main school office.

The Head Teacher – Mrs Manning will determine how many sessions may be authorised in cases where term-time leave is agreed.

The school can only consider applications for Leave of Absence which are made by the resident parent (the parent with whom the child normally resides).

Applications for term-time leave must be made in advance and in writing. Failure to do so will result in the absence the resulting absences being unauthorised.

When an application for term-time leave is declined, any resulting absences will be unauthorised.

Unauthorised absence relating to term-time leave being taken will be sent to the Local Authority for consideration of a Penalty Notice when 10 or more sessions are unauthorised.

Unauthorised absences resulting from term-time leave being taken is likely to result in the Local Authority issuing each parent with a Penalty Notice for each child absent from school.

The Education Safeguarding Service issues penalty notices on behalf of the Local Authority in line with the Somerset Penalty Notice Code of Conduct, which is available at

If a Penalty Notice is issued and not paid, the Local Authority will consider prosecuting parents in line with Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996. This can result in a fine of up to £1,000 for each offence. 

In exceptional cases, the Local Authority may seek to prosecute parents in line with Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996 without issuing a Penalty Notice.


Term-Time Leave

Arranging holidays or planned absence during term time causes issues for many reasons:

  • the pupil’s education suffers; lessons and extra-curricular activities are missed
  • there is no opportunity for teachers to set additional work or to assist a child in catching up on their return from holiday
  • parents may be in breach of their legal obligation to send their child to school.

The Government issued new regulations in September 2013 that placed greater restrictions on families and schools in relation to planned term-time leave. 

The Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended by Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 state:

Head teachers shall not grant any Leave of Absence during term time unless they consider there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.

Parents do not have any entitlement to take their children on holiday during term time. Any application for leave must establish that there are exceptional circumstances, and the Head Teacher – Mrs T Manning must be satisfied that the circumstances warrant the granting of leave.


The Headteacher cannot grant any leave of absence during term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

To:  The Headteacher

        Pen Mill Infant and Nursery Academy 

I wish to apply for 

Name:__________________________________________      Class:____________________

Name:__________________________________________      Class:____________________ 

To be authorised as being absent from school from _______________  to ________________ 

inclusive for the purpose of a leave of absence at (specify location) ______________________

My exceptional circumstances are:






By signing this request I confirm that I have read the attached leaflet and I am aware of the implications to my child’s attendance record and possible penalties payable.

Signature of Parent/Carer_________________________________    Date________________

 Please return this form to your child’s school

Office use only                                                                                                                                                                                        

Authorised / Unauthorised

*delete as appropriate