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Ar unwaith - at once
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General Information

At Ynysowen we want the best for all the children in our care and we would therefore like to remind you of the importance of good attendance at school.


Good Attendance

Good attendance is seen by Welsh Government as above 95% and we expect this to be the minimum level for all children at Ynysowen.


As a school, we are open for 190 days a year; this leaves 175 days for holidays, rest and non-urgent appointments.


The importance of regular attendance

There are many good reasons for encouraging regular school attendance which has been well researched and documented.

For pupils the benefits include:

  • Keeping up with their school work
  • Ensure they meet their expected progress
  • Develop better personal and social skills
  • Learn habits needed for adult life e.g. punctuality and time management
  • Combined with benefits for school, staff and the wider community regular attendance at school has far reaching advantages for all parties concerned.



Research shows a close link between attendance at school and a child's achievement. Being late adds up to a loss of learning. 

Minutes late per dayEquivalent of missing
5 minutes3.4 school days a year
10 minutes6.9 school days a year
15 minutes10.3 school days a year
20 minutes13.8 school days a year
30 minutes20.7 school days a year


Authorised Absences

Where a pupil is absent due to sickness and is genuinely unable to attend school, then the school, after being informed, may authorise a child's absence.

It is important to inform us at the start of the day if your child is going to be absent by using the school’s messaging service. In law only a headteacher can authorise a pupil's absence, and sometimes, this may require additional evidence such as a letter from your GP.


Unauthorised Absences

The law states that parent/carer(s) must ensure that their child regularly attends the school where they are registered. With this in mind, the school governors have agreed that from September ALL holiday absences will be unauthorised. This means that any child who is taken out of school during term time to go on holiday will receive an unauthorised absence, unless there are exceptional circumstances. 


Actions due to poor attendance

Regular attendance is required by law and Welsh Government introduced Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) and fines for parents who have children with more than 5 days/10 sessions of unauthorised absence. This can be issued for any absences not authorised by the school, including holidays. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council will issue these notices when concerns are raised by school. The fine is £120 unless paid within 28 days when it will reduce to £60.


Fixed Penalty Notices may be considered appropriate

  • At least 10 sessions (5 school days) are lost due to unauthorised absence during the current term. These do not need to be consecutive.
  • Unauthorised absences of at least 10 sessions (5 school days) due to holidays in term time or delayed return from extended holidays; or
  • Persistent late arrival at school, i.e. after the register has closed, in the current term. “Persistent” means at least 10 sessions of late arrival


Incentives for good attendance

To promote good attendance in school we offer our pupils a number of incentives such as:

  • Certificates and prizes for pupils who achieve100% attendance each term.
  • Certificates for pupils who have shown improved attendance over the term.
  • Prizes for any pupils who manage to achieve 100% for the year.
  • During assembly, a certificate and trophy is awarded to the class (Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2) with the best attendance from the previous week. This is presented by members of our ‘Attendance Advocates’ responsibility club.
  • Class rewards for the class from Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2 who have had the best attendance during the term. Rewards can include a cinema visit, bowling, Free-time afternoon etc.


We actively promote the benefits of good attendance to all pupils through circle time activities, assemblies, by staff simply talking to pupils and through the work of our ‘Attendance Advocates’ responsibility club members.  


School Community

We all need to work together to raise levels of attendance at school and I hope that you will support us in our drive to increase the attendance of all children at Ynysowen.