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Westonzoyland Primary School ‘Achieving, Learning and Growing Together’



Attendance Information for Parents:


Attendance is a priority concern in our duty to ‘safeguard’ children.

Our school aims to meet its obligations with regards to school attendance by:

  • Promoting good attendance and reducing absence, including persistent absence
  • Ensuring every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled
  • Acting early to address patterns of absence
  • Supporting parents to perform their legal duty to ensure their children of compulsory school age attend regularly
  • Promoting punctuality in attending school.


Students are expected to maintain a minimum 97% attendance throughout the school year. Where attendance drops below 94%, or there are suspicious attendance patterns, then the school will begin to track attendance. Students who drop to or below 90% will be regarded as persistent absentees.  Where we have concerns about attendance - for example where there are 8 or more O codes recorded for a child over a twelve week period we will raise the child at TAS meetings.


Registration and Lateness

Registration begins at 8:50am, and students arriving after this time will be marked as present but arriving late (L code). The register will close at 9.00am and students arriving after the close of register will be recorded as late (U code). This will not be authorised and will count as an absence for that school session.  This form of absence will be followed up in the same manner as any other form of unauthorised absence; including following through to penalty notice if the problem is not addressed.  We must stress that repeated lateness has a significant impact on children’s readiness for school and their performance.

Afternoon registration closes at 1:40pm and similar procedures will be observed. 


If arriving after the close of register parents/students must report to the front reception and sign in on the INVENTRY system so that their arrival time and reason for lateness is recorded.  Punctuality is judged on arrival time, not method of entry.  Students can come in through the normal gate and still be late.

Parents must advise the school by telephone on the first day of absence and provide the school with an explanation and an expected date of return. This call should be made by 9:30am.  A message can be left on the answering machine if the phone is not answered.  If the absence is more than 2 days in duration, then parents should contact the school again to keep them updates about the student’s welfare and provide an expected date of return.

If a child is absent and no explanation has been received then the school will use the provided contact list in order to try and establish a reason for absence.  If we cannot establish a reason to our satisfaction then we may instigate a welfare visit.


Authorised and Unauthorised Absence

Where students of compulsory school age are recorded as absent, the register must show whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised. 

The school holiday dates are published at least a year in advance on the Somerset Council website and we ask parents/carers to book their family holidays during the school holidays.  The Education Regulations 2013, which became law on 1st September 2013, state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.  

Parents who need to take their child out of school during term time due to exceptional circumstances must send a written request to the Headteacher. Retrospective requests will not be considered.  All requests for leave of absence will be responded to in writing outlining the conditions of leave granted.

If the permission to take leave is not granted and the parent takes their child out of school the absence will be unauthorised. In such cases the school may request the local authority issue a Penalty Notice or consider other legal sanctions including prosecution in the magistrates court.



For further details please see our full Attendance and punctuality policy below.