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Merstone School prides itself on its high expectations for attendance and punctuality. Children need to be in school to learn. Missing time from school leaves children vulnerable to falling behind in their learning, as well as impacting upon their friendships and social interactions.

We have very high expectations of attendance at Merstone School - at least 95%.  Research has shown that attendance and punctuality are important factors in school success, which has a positive impact on learning, progress and gives pupils the best life opportunities.

Attendance During One School Year

Equates to Days Absent

Number of weeks absent approximately

Number of lessons missed


9 Days

2 Weeks

45 Lessons


19 Days

4 Weeks

95 Lessons


29 Days

6 Weeks

145 Lessons


38 Days

8 Weeks

190 Lessons


48 Days

10 Weeks

240 Lessons


57 Days

11.5 Weeks

285 Lessons


Minutes Late Per Day

Equates to days of teaching lost in one year

Number of lessons missed.

5 minutes

3.5 Days

17 Lessons

10 minutes

7 days

35 Lessons

15 minutes

10.5 Days

52 Lessons

20 minutes

14 Days

70 Lessons

30 minutes

21 Days

104 Lessons

Legal Requirements:

Parents/carers have a legal duty, under section 444 of the Education Act 1996, to ensure regular and punctual attendance of students of compulsory school age and students who attend the school for post 16 education.

At Merstone School, we work within the guidelines on attendance laid down by Solihull LA. Unauthorised absence from school is an offence and parents/carers may be referred to the Local Authority Enforcement Team, which could result in a penalty notice being issued. 

Parents must inform school of their child’s absence on the first day and each subsequent day of absence, unless there is a specific diagnosis and a recovery/isolation period is known. To report an absence please phone the school on : 0121 717 1040 and press Option 1 to leave a message for the main office. Alternatively, you can email the school office on the reasons for your child’s absence; please remember to include any medical evidence/appointment letters you may have.

Please do NOT rely on a DoJo message to class staff, as when staff are teaching, the message may be delayed in getting to the office and you may receive an unnecessary call.

If you have signed the consent to share information with the Special School Nursing team, they will also be able to evidence any medical appointments, diagnoses, prescribed medication or treatment plans.

Attendance Support:

If you are struggling with school attendance, we are here to support you, and it is essential that you communicate and engage with us. In the first instance, please speak to your child’s class teacher and the class team. We have two Family support Workers who can hold meetings around attendance with the attendance lead Kieran Grealish, this is a supportive meeting to see what can be put in place to support you and you child to improve their attendance. 

If you’re not sure if you’re child is too ill for school, there is advice on the NHS website, please see the following link:,have%20a%20high%20temperature

It is regretted that we do not have either the staff or the facilities for looking after sick children and, therefore, if there is any doubt about sending your child into school it would be preferable if he/she remained at home. This would particularly apply in the case of heavy cough/colds, diarrhoea and vomiting and your child should be clear of any sickness and diarrhoea for 48 hours before returning to school to avoid cross-infection. If children attend when they are ill, the infection can spread easily to both children and staff, which can impact on everyone's education and health. 


Meetings and further support:

Merstone School will: 

  • Monitor attendance daily, weekly and half termly
  • Contact and work with families to improve attendance, this may be on a daily, weekly or monthly basis
  • Meet with families to put together a plan and offer support
  • Understand that some children may have lower attendance for various medical / diagnoses related reasons, and we will take this into consideration when offering support and actioning fixed penalty notices 
  • Offer (limited) before and after school clubs to support attendance and specific family circumstances
  • Hold meetings with the class teacher and attendance lead on how to improve attendance
  • Share reports with external professionals around whole school attendance data