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Attendance & Punctuality

All children benefit from regular and punctual school attendance, which is essential to every child’s academic, social and personal development. Being absent from school means a lost learning opportunity. Like you, we want our children to achieve their full potential; therefore, we open our gates at 8:45am for a 9:00am start. The school day finishes at 3:30pm.   

Our 2023/2024 term dates can be found here.

Our 2024/2025 term dates can be found here.

Attendance Hub

We are delighted that Tidemill Academy has become an Attendance Hub. Please read our article here

For further information about our Attendance Hub, click here

Tidemill Expectations




Approximate Days Lost Per Year

Approximate Weeks Lost Per Year



0-4 days

Less than 1 week



5-9 days

1-2 weeks


Less than expected

10-13 days

2-3 weeks



14-18 days

3-4 weeks

Below 90%

Persistent absence

More than 19 days

More than 4 weeks


Punctuality: It is not only days that matter; every minute counts. Arriving on time (by 8:55am) means children can walk into class with their friends. This increases their sense of belonging and creates a calm start to the day. Specialist teaching such as reading begins promptly after registration. Your child deserves the very best so it is paramount they are there. 


Absence: If you know your child is going to be absent from school for a dental/medical appointment please inform the school office and bring a copy of the appointment card. Wherever possible, appointments should be made outside school hours unless it is an emergency.


Sickness: If your child is going to be off sick, please call the school office (0208 692 3470) before 9:30am on the first day of absence. You will be asked for the reason for the absence and when you expect your child to return.


Holidays: Government and London Borough of Lewisham guidance is that no holidays should be taken during term-time. Our governors support this and as such, the school will not authorise any holidays during term time. If there are exceptional circumstances that require your child to be absent from school for a short period of time, please put your request in writing to the Headteacher, at least two weeks prior.

Rewarding Good Attendance and Punctuality

A punctuality trophy is awarded to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 each Friday for the class with the fewest number of lates. 100% attendance certificates and related incentives are awarded every term to pupils who qualify. At the end of the school year, pupils with 100% attendance are rewarded with a special certificate and book tokens. Attendance is also celebrated in half-termly newsletters. This makes attendance and punctuality more visible and reinforces the school’s high expectations.


Approach to Lateness

  1. Any children arriving at school after the register has closed will be asked to register at the office if they have not already done so.

  2. Pupils arriving between 9:10am – 9:30am will be marked as present but their time of late arrival will be noted.

  3. Pupils arriving after 9:30am will be marked as an unauthorised absence until a note/evidence is provided from parents at which time the school will change the mark if it is authorised.

  4. A final check is made by a member of the office team who visits every classroom to ensure there are no anomalies in the registration marks.

  5. Pupils who have a pattern of lateness (e.g. more than 20 minutes on three or more occasions spread over a two-week period) receive a letter from the Attendance Officer informing the family of the time lost and the impact this has on learning.

  6. If punctuality fails to improve, a meeting is offered with the Family Liaison Officer who who can provide additional support and set appropriate attendance targets.

  7. Failure to reach the targets set can result in a referral to the Education Welfare Officer.


Approach to Non-Attendance

  1. Contact on the first day of absence is the central part of our attendance policy. A text is sent to all parents/carers alerting them that their child has been marked as absent. This is done before 10am to make parents aware that their child has not arrived at school. When the parent calls the school, a decision will be made as to whether an authorised or an unauthorised mark will be given. If the parent is unaware of their child’s whereabouts the police will be informed immediately.

  2. Unexplained absences are followed up by a telephone call to request a reason for any such absence. If no reason is given or if the reason is insufficient, the absence will be challenged and marked as unauthorised. The Attendance Officer will review the registers on a weekly basis for persistent absences and trends.

  3. When attendance drops below 94%, a letter from the Attendance Officer is sent reminding families of the impact of excellent attendance on learning and to remind families to avoid appointments during school time.

  4. If attendance fails to improve, a meeting is offered with the Family Liaison Officer who who can provide additional support and set appropriate attendance targets.

  5. For persistent absence without an explanation (below 90%), the parent will be referred to the school’s Education Welfare Officer. The Education Welfare Officer will write to the families concerned and arrange a meeting where further support is given and attendance targets are set and reviewed.

  6. If the family fails to engage at this stage, the Education Welfare Officer will arrange a home visit. Further failure to engage will result in a referral to the Local Education Authority for a fixed penalty notice.


Please view our Attendance & Punctuality Policy.