Brightwalton C.E.Primary School

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Late/Absence Procedures

Attendance and Absence


What time does school start ?

Children should arrive at school from 8:35am and should be in their classroom by 8:45am for registration. Registers close at 8:50, when lessons start. Please do not come in to school before 8:35am, as our teachers need this time to prepare for the school day. The exception to this is children arriving to attend breakfast club at 8:00am.


What if my child is late?

Late arrivals are disruptive for your child's learning and also for the class. If you arrive after 8:45am, the pupil entrance will be closed so please bring your child in via the front door and report to the school office to sign your child in as being late, if they will be in class after 8:50am. Children arriving after 9:00am will be marked as having an unauthorised absence for that session.


What if my child is ill?

If your child is too ill to come to school, is being sick, has a stomach upset or unexplained rash, please do not bring your child into school. In the case of sickness or stomach upset, please leave 48 hours after the last episode before returning your child to school to minimise the risk of spreading an infection. Please telephone the school office by 9:00am on the first day of absence, explaining the nature of your child's illness and indicating the likely date of return to school, to ensure the absence is authorised. If your child is still not well by that day, please call again by 9:00am. If we do not receive an explanation of your child's absence, you will be called by the school office to ensure that your child is safe and accounted for.


When are absences ‘authorised’ or ‘unauthorised’?

Absences can only be authorised by the school. An absence is authorised if your child is absent through illness or is attending an exam or medical appointment about which you have informed us. Under some circumstances, leave of absence from the curriculum may be authorised by the Headteacher (see below).  Some examples of unauthorised absences are: being kept at home to make up for lost sleep; family holidays or outings; birthdays; shopping trips; car breakdown.


Can I take my child out of school for a holiday in term time?

The short answer is "No". There is no entitlement to be absent from the curriculum during term time and the DfE recommends that holidays should not be taken in term time. The headteacher may only grant ‘authorised’ absence under very exceptional circumstances, which comply with certain conditions.


How do I request Leave of Absence from the curriculum?

If you believe that your child has a valid reason to be absent from school other than for a medical appointment or external exam, you may request a Leave of Absence form from our school office, which must be completed and returned at least a month before any proposed absence. The Headteacher will then consider it for authorisation and may well wish to discuss the proposed absence with you. If the Headteacher’s approval is not given and the leave is still taken, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and will appear on your child’s attendance record. The Local Authority has the power to impose fixed penalty fines for unauthorised absence from school. 


The school's registers are checked on a regular basis by the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO), who also visits the school several times a year to discuss with the Headteacher those individuals whose attendance falls below the government target of 95%. As part of his/her duties, s/he may contact parents independently to try to resolve frequent or unexplained absences or persistent late arrival.