Dormers Wells Infant School

Dormers Wells Infant School

Attendance Policy

Information for Parents

As a school we aim to: 

Achieve an attendance rate of a minimum of 95%.

Maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance.

Maintain good time keeping. 

Good attendance is important because:

Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance

Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically

Regular attenders find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with

Regular attenders find learning more satisfying

Regular attenders settle into Junior / High school more easily 

As a parent you can help us by:

·        Ensuring your child attends school regularly. Absence should only happen when your child is significantly ill and therefore unfit to attend school, or if there is an unavoidable/unforeseen reason or circumstance which is causing a difficulty

·        Telephoning on the first morning of any absence to give us the reason and tell us when the child is likely to return to school

·        Arranging all non-emergency medical appointments out of school hours or during school holidays

·        Frequent absence claimed as illness must be supported by medical evidence

·        Keeping us updated by telephone or letter if your child has any extended period of absence

·        Making sure we always have your current contact numbers; this includes all telephone numbers, child minders and emergency contact details. 

We shall:

·        Follow up unexplained absences by phone calls and letters as necessary

·        Remind parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in our newsletters, school brochure, website, open evenings and Home-School Agreement.

·        Publish our attendance rate in the newsletter and the Governing Body’s Annual Report to parents

·        Acknowledge and reward good attendance and punctuality

·        Publish your child’s attendance rate on her/his annual school report

·        Let you know if we have concerns regarding your child’s attendance and punctuality

·        If we continue to have concerns make a referral to the Local Authority School Attendance Officer, who visits the school regularly to review and support attendance and punctuality issues.

Authorised Absence 

Some absences are allowed by law and are known as “authorised absences”.  For example: if a child is ill, close family bereavement or religious observace.                                                                                                                                                                                  

Unauthorised Absence 

There are times when children are absent for reasons, which are not permitted by law.  These are known as “unauthorised absences”.  Examples of unauthorised absence are:

·        Waiting for a delivery

·        Taking or collecting a relative to/from the airport                                  

·        Going for a family day out                               

·        Sleeping in after a late night   

·        Going shopping or for a hair cut 

·        Because it is your child’s birthday

Term time holiday/Cheap flights

Visiting family

Parent / family illness

Where there is no explanation for an absence or where the explanation or reason for the absence is considered unsatisfactory absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’. Unauthorised Absences have to be reported to the Local Authority. The School Attendance Service may contact you where unauthorised absence continues to be a problem. Unauthorised absence could result in a Fixed Penalty Fine or other legal action. 

  • It is important to be on time as the first part of the school day is used to give out instructions or organise schoolwork for the rest that day. It is also a time for children to settle down so they are ready for lessons immediately after registration.

Morning registration is at 8.55 am. This is the time your child must be in the line outside the classroom/ on the playground. You need to ensure your child is coming through the school gate at 8.50am. 

 Late arrivals are disruptive to the whole class and often embarrassing for your child. We take the view there are no late children, only late parents. 

Arrival (particularly if the lateness is frequent/persistent) after the close of registration will be marked as unauthorised absence code ‘U’ in line with the DCFS guidance. This is effectively an absence.

All lateness is recorded daily. The number of minutes late and the reason for lateness if known will also be recorded. This information can be made available to the courts in the form of a report, should a prosecution be the outcome of repeated lateness.

Please collect your child promptly at the end of the school day. Where late collection is persistent and/or significantly late, the school is obliged to take any uncollected pupil to a place of safety and share concerns with other agencies.

Exceptional Leave - Term Time Leave of Absence 

We are always concerned about the amount of school time pupils miss as a result of term time leave.  There is no entitlement to time off during term time. Leave of absence is only granted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Headteacher in accordance with the school policy as agreed by the governing body.

It is our policy that: 

  • Only in a very exceptional circumstance will term time leave be allowed.  Parents/Carers wishing to apply for leave of absence need to fill in an application form well in advance and before booking tickets or making travel arrangements.
  • No applications for leave of absence will be considered in year 2, or at the start of any academic year. If a child is not present at the beginning of a school term, we cannot guarantee that a place will remain available on their return to school.
  • If term time leave is taken without prior permission from the school, the absence will be unauthorised and you may be liable for a fixed-penalty fine or other legal action and in certain instances the child may also lose their school place.


Please remember that absence for whatever reason disadvantages a child by creating gaps in his/her learning.  A good understanding of the work and good progress can only take place when the child is in the classroom regularly and on time..


If your child is leaving our school (other than at the end of Year 2 to go toJuniorSchool) parents are asked to give the school comprehensive information about their plans including any date of a move and your new address and telephone numbers, your child’s new school and the start date when known. This should be submitted to our school in writing 

When pupils leave and we do not have information, about where they have gone, then your child is considered to be a ‘Child Missing Education’.  This means that the Local Authority has a legal duty to carry out investigations, which will include liaising with Children’s Services (formerly Social Services), the Police and other agencies, to try and locate your child.

By giving us the above information, these investigations can be avoided.


Reviewed : February 2013