Absences

The school gates open at 8.40am. Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children attend school regularly. The school operates a ‘first day contact’ policy. If for any reason your child is absent from school it is important that you contact the school by telephone that day to inform us. If you do not ring in we will make every effort to contact you to ensure that your child is accounted for. However, it will still be important that you send in a note or speak to your child’s teacher to inform them as to why they were absent when they return to school.

Absences may be authorised for the following:

1. Illness or medical/dental treatment.

2. Approved sporting activity.

3. Day of religious observance in the religious body to which parents belong.

4. Educational visits.

5. Family holiday. There is no automatic right to absence for a family holiday. Authorisation of absence requests (which must be submitted for consideration at least two weeks prior to the first day of absence) will depend on whether the application meets the Local Authority’s ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ criteria.

Please note the following:

  • Authorisation for leave during SATS or other key times will not be granted.
  • Requests for extended leave will not be authorised if a similar request was authorised (or extended leave was taken) during the previous academic year.
  • Parents have a duty to ensure that their children attend regularly and if they fail to do so they may be guilty of an offence under the Education Act 1993.
  • If a request for leave is refused and your child is still taken out of school, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. This may result in a penalty notice being issued or legal action taken for poor attendance.

6. Other circumstances where the school, at its discretion, deems it appropriate to authorise absence.

All other absences, including late arrival after close of registration at 9.10am without adequate reason, will be regarded as unauthorised.

The school is working, with other schools in West Somerset, to improve the attendance of children at school. It is recognised that attendance below 92% over a term will have an adverse effect on a child’s educational achievement. The Headteacher will contact the parents of children whose attendance is causing concern. The school will inform the school social worker in the following circumstances:-

1. Where there is no explanation or some doubt or suspicion as to the cause of an absence.

2. When there has been past absence without reason.

3. When there is a developing pattern of absence which is causing concern.

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