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We expect all children on roll to attend every day as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so. We encourage the children to attend, and we put in place appropriate procedures. We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is the development of positive attitudes towards school. We strive to make our school a happy and rewarding experience for all children.

Our overall attendance target is 96.2%. 

Topcliffe Primary School is working in partnership with parents to improve school attendance.   We would like to congratulate the many parents who make sure their children attend school regularly.

It is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure their children receive appropriate education.  Failing to send your child to school regularly without good reason is a criminal offence.

Absence can only be authorised by the Head Teacherwithin the boundaries set by the Education (Pupil Registrations) (England) Regulations 2006.

Please remember that parental illness, going shopping, visiting family, truancy, not wanting to go to school, alleged bullying, (speak to school immediately to resolve the issue), are not acceptable reasons to be absent. All of these will be recorded as unauthorised absence, including if your child arrives at school after the close of registration. Leave in term time will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.

Legal action that may be taken include:

  • Issuing penalty notices: Each parent receives a penalty notice for each child who has unauthorised absence.  The penalty is £60 or £120 depending on how soon payment is made.  So, if there are two parents and two children the total penalties could be up to £480. Failure to pay may result in prosecution.
  • Taking parents to court for unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1) – court can fine each parent up to £1000 per child, order payment of prosecution costs and/or impose a Parenting Order.
  • Taking parents to court for persistent unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1A) – court can fine each parent up to £2,500 per child, order payment of the prosecution costs, impose a Parenting Order and/or sentence a period of imprisonment of up to 3 months.

Being taken to court could result in you having a criminal record. 


Warwickshire Attendance Service 

 The Warwickshire Attendance service (WAS) are a trade Service and commissioned by the WHMAT. WAS representatives have a role to play in ensuring that children and young people are adequately supported in improving their attendance when required. Each year WAS will work in partnership with the Attendance lead and School Attendance Officers to support attendance of children within the school and families. The WAS representative will:

  • Further support in developing systems to ensure consistency and uniformity in communication and sharing key information.
  • Support a tiered approach to escalation to improve attendance and deliver legal intervention.
  • Support in monitoring absence and day to day procedures defining clear roles and responsibilities.
  • Provide capacity in monitoring children identified as requiring early intervention (95% attendance).
  • Evidence and review documentation to support any legal process.
  • Support data analysis.
  • Warwickshire Attendance Service will adhere to and ensure that the Birmingham City Council Fast-Track guidance is implemented within the school.

School procedure 

Impact on learning 




It is essential for children to be in school regularly to benefit fully from their educational opportunities.  Good attendance will ensure that children can reach their full potential. To achieve this, children need to attend school every day. We are sure you would not jeopardise your children’s academic progress by taking them away during term time.

The importance of school attendance is such the law has now changed and Head teachers may now only grant leave in term time where the circumstances are exceptional.  This is in line with Birmingham Local Authority’s ‘Leave in term Time Guidance’ and the 2013 Amendment to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations.

For example:

  •  death of parent/carer or sibling of the pupil
  •  life threatening or critical illness of parent or sibling of the pupil
  • parent/carer recuperation and convalescence from critical illness or surgery (leave request to be made within 6 months of recovery and medical evidence required)

Family emergencies need careful consideration. It is not always in the best interest of the child; nor appropriate for them to miss school for family emergencies that are being dealt with by adult family members. Being at school, friendships and support from staff can provide children with stability and care during difficult times. The routine of school can provide a safe and familiar background during times of uncertainty.

If you have exceptional circumstances which have lead you to request leave in term time for your child/ren, please complete the required form, which you can obtain from School.  The Head Teacher will then make a decision on whether or not the leave can be lawfully authorised and will do so only if there is a genuine, exceptional and urgent reason for a child to be absent during term time.

If a child is taken out of school without the Head Teachers authorisation, it will be recorded as unauthorised absence. This may lead to the issuing of a penalty notice and legal action being taken.

Section 23(1) Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2007:

Penalty notices may be issued to the parent of pupils who have unauthorised absence from school.  The amount of the penalty is £60.

  • If this is not paid within 21 days the amount rises to £120.
  • If not paid within 28 days the Local Authority will prosecute under section 444(1) unless it comes to our attention that the penalty notice had been issued in error.

Section 444(1) Education Act 1996:

“If you are the parent of a child of compulsory school age who fails to attend school regularly, you are guilty of an offence.”

The court can fine each parent up to £1,000 per child, order payment of the prosecution costs and/or make a Parenting Order.

Please note that:

  • penalties and prosecutions are in respect of each parent for each child.
  • ‘Parent’ includes any person who is not a parent of the child but who has parental responsibility for the child (and applies whether or not that person lives with the child) or who has care of him/her.

These prosecutions are criminal proceedings and could result in you having a criminal record.


@Topcliffeschool - 8 Dec
Some fantastic art work inspired by Andy Goldsworthy. We really enjoyed created pictures using natural materials 😊
@Topcliffeschool - 8 Dec
Christmas Jumper Day this Friday 🎉🎄 Why not decorate your own jumper or t-shirt with some sparkling tinsel or a glittery bauble.
@Topcliffeschool - 6 Dec
@Topcliffeschool - 5 Dec
Bring it on Brum! is back! 👏🎉 Over the festive break, we're running FREE full-day activities for children in Birmingham aged 5-16. Including a free tasty and nutritious meal🥪🍏 Sign your child up today at
@Topcliffeschool - 5 Dec
For more information on the winter programme, including events and activities to keep you and your family entertained, fit and healthy through the upcoming holidays, please follow the link below:
@Topcliffeschool - 5 Dec
@Topcliffeschool - 2 Dec
Oaks had a lovely time in Sutton park, searching for signs of wildlife, building a shelter out of natural materials and finding sticks to make bows back in school! Well done Oaks!! 👏
@Topcliffeschool - 1 Dec
Developing core stability with a focus on balance. At the end of the session, the challenge was to walk heel to toe on the underside of the bench! It took several attempts to reach the end of the beam but, this pupil was brave, aspirational and resilient!
@Topcliffeschool - 1 Dec
Pines have had a special visitor arrive this morning that will be keeping us company over the next few weeks! I wonder what mischief he’ll get up to when he’s out of ‘Elf Isolation’!🎄
@Topcliffeschool - 1 Dec
Oh no! 🤦🏼‍♀️ Special visitor back in Tulips today🎄🎅🏽 He can’t get up to that much mischief this year, surely? x
@Topcliffeschool - 26 Nov
This is the team of WHMAT staff that I worked with who took such good care of all of the children on the residential. A fantastic bunch that got cold, muddy and wet but never stopped smiling. Have a lovely, restful weekend, you deserve it 👏👏
@Topcliffeschool - 26 Nov
And now, the end is near, and so they face, that final stair climb Breakie is had, their rooms are clean, laundry done, the dry room empty The odd sock here, some sweaty pants, but how they worked, their final morning They are the team, one things for sure, they did it their way
@Topcliffeschool - 25 Nov
I took this photo after we’d scrambled to the summit, overlooking the ocean in Barmouth. The group all sat together like this, without being asked. From not knowing each other at the start of the week to this…it says it all really 😊
@Topcliffeschool - 25 Nov
Some smiling faces and fantastic views from the top of Barmouth ‘mountain’!
@Topcliffeschool - 25 Nov
To prove the staff get involved…Mrs Roberts travelling around the world!! Well done!! 👏 (Mr Cutts also succeeded but he’s way too shy to appear on here 😃😂).
@Topcliffeschool - 25 Nov
This scrambling activity is called ‘travelling around the world’. You are basically going upside down doing a full circle on the rock!! 😬💪 Well done boys!! 👏
@Topcliffeschool - 25 Nov
Different adventures for the mountaineers today!
@Topcliffeschool - 25 Nov
@Topcliffeschool - 25 Nov
Such a brilliant day!! Once again, I couldn’t be prouder of the Topcliffe team!! Pushing themselves so far and showing such resilience and independence during incredibly challenging activities!! Super stars!!
@Topcliffeschool - 25 Nov
G’day to you all! Breakfast is done, kids are getting ready for the day ahead. Today is all about mountaineering, scrambling and jetty jumping. I’m going to miss that view! 😁