Every Day Counts!  (Reproduced from ‘Every Day Counts’ – Hampshire County Council)

Should my child stay home from school?

Parents often ask us if their child should be in school. If your child has no temperature but has a cough, cold, headache, earache then as with adults medical advice is to give them paracetemol (calpol, etc) and send them to school. We will always contact you if your child’s condition worsens or if we believe it is contagious such as chicken pox, vomiting, etc.

Preventing or minimizing illnesses – it can be done!

One way to lessen the number of days your child needs to stay home is to prevent the illness in the first place. Childhood immunisations can prevent many diseases, such as measles, mumps, and chicken pox. Many illnesses can also be prevented through proper hygiene.

Some hygiene reminders for your children:

 not to share food

 not to share drinks

 not to share clothing

 to throw away used tissues

 to wash hands frequently using soap or hand sanitizer.

There are two attendance sessions every day and missing school for a whole day counts as two absences so …

Medical/dental/optician appointments

Whenever possible please make all medical appointments at the end of the school day or outside school hours. If an appointment is made in school time your child should come to school first and/or return after their appointment. Please be aware that the absence or illness of a pupil should not affect the education of their siblings. If a pupil has an appointment (particularly at the beginning or end of the school day) arrangements should be made to ensure that the other sibling is either dropped off or collected from school on time.

Lack of sleep

If your child has been ill in the night and has had broken sleep, please consider sending them into school in the afternoon with a note. Your child may feel better and they will have the chance to join their friends and find out about homework and learning missed. 

Absent, but able to learn

If your child is absent due to a long term or contagious illness but is able to work at times, please contact us to request work. We are happy to provide some material to support your child’s learning.

Our school policy on illness is based on direct advice and guidance from the Department for Education (DfE).  The DfE rule of thumb is “would the ailment keep parents/carers and teachers away from work?

Please visit the DfE website if you would like further details:

Long term or chronic medical conditions

 Please talk to us if your child has a chronic or long term illness as there are a number of ways your child can maintain some education – such as hospital schools or teaching services, home teaching and education centres. We will always aim to

support your child in being able to continue some form of education; and we will work closely with you and your child to ensure that we maintain the right balance so your child can keep up whilst checking the type and amount of school work that your child does is appropriate for them and their medical condition.

So what impact can this have?

Liam is in Year 1 and his attendance rate at school is always around 90%. Liam and his family think this is pretty good!  But, if Liam continues to attend for only 90% of the time, then over five years he will miss the equivalent of about one-half of a school year.  90% attendance for Liam = 20 days absence (four weeks of school missed).

Did you know that of pupils who miss between 10% and 20% of school:

 only 35% manage to go on and achieve five A* to C GCSEs including English and mathematics, compared to 73% of pupils with over 95% attendance

 only 66% of pupils gained the equivalent of the expected standard in English or mathematics at Key Stage 2, compared to 87% of pupils with over 95% attendance.   DfE

What if my child is well, but struggling to come to school?

Please let us know if, for any reason, your child is finding it difficult to come to school.  We have lots of specialist staff on hand who can help resolve any worries, build your child’s confidence and bridge the gap between school and home.  

How should I let school know if my child is going to be absent?

Finally – please remember to phone the school to report any absence, confirming the reason and expected date of return to school. Please help your child to catch up on any work missed.

Further support is available from the two leaflets below:


SchoolAttendanceLeaflet HCC