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CofE VA Primary School

Fairness ~ Kindness ~ Respect ~ Service ~ Forgiveness


Late/Absence Procedures


If a child is ill and is unable to attend school please phone the school before 9.30 a.m. When your child returns to school we require a letter of explanation. If the pupil is going to be absent for a medical or dental appointment please inform the office in a note/telephone call.



Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If a child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence. Good time-keeping is a vital life skill which will help our children as they progress through their school life and out into the wider world.


How we manage lateness:

The school gate opens at 8.30 am when children can begin to come into school.  The school gate closes at 8.45 am and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.  Children arriving after 8.45 am are required  to come in to school via the school office if accompanied by a parent or carer, the parent/carer will sign them into our ‘Late Book’ and provide a reason for their lateness which is recorded. The school may send home ‘late notes’ in order to keep parents and carers informed.  From time to time the Headteacher will undertake a ‘Late Gate’ check, greeting late arrivals at the main entrance to the school.   


At 9.20 am the registers will be closed. In accordance with the Regulations, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence. This may mean that you could face the possibility of a Penalty Notice if the problem persists. If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the School Welfare Officer and/or Child and Family Support Worker, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.  We expect parents and staff to encourage good punctuality by being good role models to our children and celebrate good class and individual punctuality.




Taking your child out of school during term time could be detrimental to your child’s educational progress.  The current law does not give any entitlement to parents to take their child out of school during term time.  The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 prohibits Headteachers granting leave of absence to a pupil except where an application has been made in advance and the Headteacher considers that there are exceptional

circumstances in relation to the application.  The following are examples of the criteria for leave of absence which may be considered as ‘exceptional’:


  • Service personnel returning from active deployment;
  • Where inflexibility of a parent’s leave or working arrangements is part of the organisational or company policy.  This would need to be evidenced by the production or confirmation from the organisation/company;
  • Where leave is recommended as part of a parent’s or child’s rehabilitation from medical or
  • emotional problems.  Evidence must be provided;
  • When a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis.


I must warn you that, if you do take your child out of school for this time, the absence will not be authorised and the Education Welfare Service may issue a penalty notice to each parent of £60 for each child to be paid within 21 days. If the penalty is not paid within the timescale, the penalty will increase to £120.  If the higher penalty is not paid within 28 days, the Education Welfare Service will then institute legal proceedings against you in the Magistrate’s Court under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 for failing to ensure your child attends school regularly.