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West Denton Primary School

‘A Stepping Stone into the Future’

Attendance and Late/Absence Procedures

Coming to school every day and on time gets children into the best work habits early on in their life journey. Research shows that children who attend school every day have the best chances of passing exams which improves their life chances. This will help them to secure the best apprenticeships, their dream jobs and places on the college and university courses of their choice. In essence, a good education will maximise their life choices in terms of: the job roles they perform, where they live, the holidays they go on and the opportunities to develop their skills and talents to the full. Who would not want this for their own children?


Children MUST attend school every day. Parents are legally responsible for their child’s attendance at school. The regulations covering a child’s absence from school are laid down in law and are deemed ‘authorised’ or ‘unauthorised’. Each school is required to record and publicise the attendance figures. Individual children’s attendance figures are reported to parents annually.


The school monitors children’s attendance very closely. Frequent absences will result in the absent child’s family being contacted by the School Welfare Officer, Head Teacher or Attendance Officer. The school operates a traffic light system whereby if attendance falls below 97% a monitoring period will take place. This is the amber zone. If attendance improves over the 4 weeks no further action will be taken. If attendance is below 92% in the monitoring period you now enter the red zone. A meeting will be called in school and if attendance does not improve a fine or legal action could take place.


Children arriving after the doors close in a morning (8.55am) are required to sign in with the 'Late Gate' at the School front doors, where you will be questioned on why you are late, these arrivals are recorded and continuous late arrivals will be monitored.  Late arrivals are very unsettling for both the late child and their peers.


Authorised Absences


These are any absences of which the school has been informed e.g. the child is unwell, attending a doctor or dentist appointment, absence due to the death of a close relative or absence due to religious observance. As per Government guidelines, WDPS is unable to authorise any holiday in term time. Although holidays will not be authorised, we would still like you to complete a notification of absence form which we can hold on record. It is crucial that we have correct information about your child’s absences as part of our Safeguarding procedures and to ensure your child remains on roll.


Unauthorised Absences


These are any absences, which do not meet the above criteria. These must be reported to the Local Authority and Department for Education annually and the Attendance Officer may visit any family presenting frequent unauthorised absences. Unauthorised absences include: - buying new shoes or clothes in school time, having hair cut in school time, taking a day off because of a birthday or good weather, keeping a child off because he or she does not want to come to school and any absence without written or verbal explanation from parent or guardian.


Children arriving in school after the close of the entrance doors (approx. 8.55 a.m. each day) will be marked as late.


Please ensure you inform school of your child’s absences by telephone or letter in order to avoid any unauthorised absences being recorded against him or her.

Appointments During School Hours


Please try to avoid making dental/medical appointments during the school day. It is very disruptive for the children, the class teacher and the office staff. Many children are being collected from 2.30pm and staff are continually interrupting their work and the children’s lessons to take children out. Only on a rare occasion will permission be given to release a child from school before 3.15pm.