At FSD, excellent attendance is extremely important. There is a direct link between a child’s attendance in school and what they achieve.

Children get one chance at school, and a child’s chances of a successful future may be affected by not attending school regularly. Regular and punctual attendance will help children in adult life and help prepare them to enter the world of work. School will also help children to develop their social skills, make friends, and help them to communicate well with others.

We expect every student to aim for 100% attendance; this is crucial if they are to do well in school and achieve their full potential.

Attendance- Every Day in School Matters

190 School DaysAbsence
100% attendance190 days attendance0
95% attendance180 days attendance2 weeks absence
90% attendance171 days  attendance4 weeks absence
85% attendance161 days attendance6 weeks absence
80% attendance152 days attendanceMore than half a term
75% attendance143 days attendance9+ weeks absence

Absence from school during the year will reduce a child’s chance of success; their achievement could seriously affect progress in all subjects and will eventually impact upon exam grades.


  • If a child is sick or unable to attend, parents/carers must call the school telephone number (0191 386 6628 Option 1) before 8.30 am each day of absence
  • The school will contact parents/carers by text or email if a child is absent and we do not know why
  • The only legally acceptable reasons for not being in school are illness and medical appointments (only if it is not possible to arrange these outside of school times). Other absences may be approved by the school, such as dates of religious observance
  • Wherever possible medical/other appointments should be made for times outside of the school day
  • The school will not authorise any absence due to family holidays, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Any parents/carers taking children out of school during term-time without authorisation by the Headteacher may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Traffic Lights

  • The school uses a colour-coded traffic light system; a student’s attendance will dictate which zone they are in at any given time; this system makes it easy to identify if a student’s attendance starts to slip or be of concern. If attendance does become a concern, we may well instigate a home visit or invite parents/carers into school to discuss the seriousness of the situation
  • The traffic light colour zones are:

GREEN          96% attendance or above

AMBER         below 96% and above 90%

RED               90% and below 


Punctuality-  Every Minute in School Counts

In the same way, a child regularly arriving late to school will lose valuable learning time. For example, a child arriving:

10 minutes late each day = nearly 7 days of learning lost in a year.

20 minutes late each day = 13 days of learning lost in a year.

  • Every child is expected to arrive on the school site by 8.25am each day, in order to attend first lesson and start learning at 8.30am
  • If a child arrives late for school, he or she must sign in late at Student Reception where a late slip will be issued and a behaviour point given.  Persistent lateness to school (3 incidents in a term or 5 incidents over the academic year) will lead to a one hour, after school, leadership detention

  • It is a parent’s/carer’s responsibility to ensure that children attend school both regularly and on time
  • The school is legally responsible for reporting poor attendance to the Local Authority
  • The Local Authority has a duty to make sure that all parents/carers fulfil their responsibilities
  • Parents/carers are committing an offence if they fail to make sure that children attend school regularly, even if they are missing school without parents’ knowledge
  • Parents/Carers can be fined up to £2,500 or imprisoned for failing to ensure that children attend school regularly. Magistrates can also impose a Parenting Order, which means the parent has to attend a parenting class
  • Parents/carers should ensure that school is updated with new contact details for themselves and children – addresses, phone numbers (particularly mobile numbers and email address changes to ensure receipt of correspondence)

For enquiries about attendance or punctuality parents/carers should contact the Attendance Improvement Co-ordinator, Mrs Gordon. Please refer to our contacts page.