Woodbury Salterton
C of E Primary School


‘Failure to attend school regularly can have a major impact on young people’s education, their future and their life chances’. Woodbury Salterton CE Primary School has a comprehensive Attendance and Absence in Term Time Policy. Absences are strongly discouraged. The policy is available on request from the school office, and also on this website in the policies section.

16 May 2016 – House of Commons Briefing Paper: Holidays during term-time (England)

We encourage regular attendance by:

  • providing a caring and welcoming learning environment and learning that is such fun that children will not want to miss it
  • responding promptly to a child’s or parent’s concerns about the school or other pupils
  • marking registers accurately and punctually during morning and afternoon registration
  • publishing and displaying attendance statistics
  • celebrating good and improved attendance
  • monitoring pupils, informing parents/carers in writing of irregular attendance, arranging meetings with them if necessary

We expect that you will:

  • ALWAYS encourage regular school attendance and be aware of your legal responsibilities
  • ALWAYS ensure that your child arrives at the school punctually and fully prepared for the day
  • ensure that you contact the academy whenever your child is unwell and unable to attend school
  • contact the school by 9.15 am on the first day of your child’s absence and telephone every day thereafter unless your child has a doctor’s certificate
  • contact us promptly whenever any problem occurs that may keep your child away from school.

Penalty notices may be used as a deterrent to prevent a pattern of unauthorised absences developing.

Attendance – did you know?

Brandon has 90% attendance at school. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?


1 school year at 90% = 4 WHOLE WEEKS OF LESSONS MISSED!

Brandon’s learning and achievement will be affected!

What happens when children miss school?

  • They miss lessons and crucial information
  • They will fall behind with their work
  • They may miss interesting activities that the class does follow up work on • They may become isolated from their peer group
  • They let down their classmates who may be working with them
  • The Education Welfare Officer may become involved (90% attendance or less will trigger an enquiry by the EWO)

Why do children need to be in school regularly? 

  • so that they don’t miss any lessons
  • to maximise their learning
  • to make sure they will be able to do the best they can in assessments
  • to learn to socialise with their peers
  • because it’s the law!

Unauthorised Absence from School

Schools are also required to notify the Local Authority if a child has a number of unauthorised absences. Unauthorised absences can be acquired when:

  • Leave has been requested, but the circumstances are such that the school cannot authorise the leave and it is taken anyway
  • Leave is not requested and the school has grounds to believe that the child has been taken out of school for an avoidable reason
  • A child continually arrives late after registration closes, i.e. after 9.10am
  • A child is ill for 5 or more consecutive days without medical evidence

The school is required to notify the Local Authority in all of the circumstances listed above.

We understand the disappointment that the refusal of a leave request may cause and we apologise, but as you can appreciate this policy represents the school’s responsibility and commitment towards ensuring your child’s education and their future life opportunities.

Holidays and Avoidable Absence in Term Time

We believe that in order for children to fully benefit from their education, good attendance is crucial. It is the policy of our school to celebrate achievement and full attendance is a critical factor to a productive and successful school career.

As of September 2013, an amendment to the Education Regulations 2006 came into force and greater clarity was introduced to the issue of schools authorising absence requests. These changes reinforced the government’s view that every minute of every school day is vital and that pupils should only be granted authorised absence by the school in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

A family holiday is not normally considered by the Government to be an ‘exceptional circumstance’ and therefore will not be authorised by the school. I must take this opportunity to remind you, that should you chose to take your child out of school without the authorisation of the school, then Parental Responsibility Measure could be instigated. This could mean receiving a Penalty Notice.