Why is Good Attendance Important?

Good attendance at school is vital for pupils to achieve their full educational potential. Pupils with good attendance records benefit in the following ways:-

  • Continuity of learning which makes progress and retention easier,
  • Improved performance in coursework tasks
  • Enhanced performance in examinations
  • Continuity of relationships and friendships
  • Good references for further education or employment
  • Good habits are formed for later life

What Constitutes Good Attendance?

Attendance percentages are not like examination results. An attendance percentage needs to be 95%+ before it can be considered good.

Consider the following examples over the course of a school year (188 days)

  • 10 days absence = 95% attendance; 50 lessons missed
  • 20 days absence= 89% attendance; 100 lessons missed
  • 29 days absence = 85% attendance; 145 lessons missed
  • 38 days absence = 80% attendance; 190 lessons missed
  • 47 days absence = 75% attendance; 235 lessons missed

Missing 19 days (90% attendance) every year over 10 years of a school life = 1 whole year of school missed.

Research states that having 20 (89%) days off school every year means that a pupil will probably obtain a whole grade lower in their exams than they are probably capable of.

Pupils with less than 85% attendance are unlikely to gain 5 A*- C Grade GCSE qualifications.

In order for an attendance record to be good it must be 96% or above;

  • 100% = excellent attendance
  • 98% = very good attendance
  • 96% = good attendance

Each year, a large number of pupils in every year group achieve 100% attendance; showing that this is an achievable target.

It is expected for each pupil to achieve 95%+ attendance, in line with the national target set for attendance.

In addition a number of pupils have achieved this level of attendance for a number of years. Students with excellent attendance in Milford Haven School are rewarded with certificates and prizes.

It is very important that pupils attend school constantly or they will fall behind and lose important knowledge about their course. It expected for each pupil to obtain 95% or above attendance, in line with the national target set for attendance.

Students with 100% attendance will still have 175 days off per year

If your child is absent for any reason, please observe the following procedures:

1. Phone the school to inform us that your child is absent if only for a day: 01646 690021 option 1

2. Write a note in your child’s diary on the day your child returns to school

The following reasons are examples of what is not acceptable: 

A dental appointment (other than an emergency or an appointment with the school dentist)

Assisting at home

Driving Lessons

Leisure/ entertainment/ shopping/ birthdays

Every effort should be made to arrange appointments outside school hours. Permission should be sought beforehand if the reason is known beforehand.

Every attempt should be made to arrange family holidays outside of term time since a pupil’s absence has a detrimental effect on his/ her progress. Absences due to pupils being taken on holiday during term time will be recorded as unauthorised.

Illness. Sometimes pupils are kept from school because they have a cold, sore throat etc. Please do not allow your child to have time off school for minor complaints/ illnesses; if they are well enough to be up and about they are generally well enough to attend school. If your child suffers from a recurring illness take him / her to the doctor.

If you think that the illness is caused by your child’s anxiety of coming to school contact us immediately.

1. If your child is absent without reason or sufficient reason, or if there are constant or long periods of absences, you can expect a visit from the School Community and Engagement Officer or the Local Authority Attendance Officer. They will discuss with you how to avoid any unnecessary absences.

2. If the situation does not improve then we will arrange a meeting in school to discuss your child’s attendance and agree on an action plan.

3. In a small number of cases it will be necessary to take the parents to court in order to achieve a higher attendance rate.


It is a legal requirement that pupils registered at school attend regularly. Pupils are expected to be in their registration room by 8.45 am for the start of the school day. We would be grateful if you would ensure that your child leaves home in plenty of time to arrive promptly every day. At 9.30am the registers will be closed. In accordance with the regulations, if a student arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will count as an unauthorised absence. Period 4 is the afternoon registration and this and the morning tutor period are the marks that count towards the student’s late record.