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Saxmundham Primary School

Late/Absence Procedures



The school gates currently open at 8.30 am.  Children are expected to be in their classroom and ready to begin lessons by 8.50am.  The main playground gate will be closed by 8.50am so if your child arrives after this time, they will need to go to the front office to enter school.


A child arriving after 8.50am but before 9.05am will be marked as late in the register (shown by an L).  A child arriving after 9.05am will be marked as a U - meaning they have arrived after the register has closed.  This is an unauthorised absence.




It is important that all children attend school as much as they are able to, especially at the moment.  At our school we expect children to attend for 97% of sessions (a session is a morning or an afternoon; there are 2 sessions in a day).  Attendance is monitored regularly and parents of children whose attendance falls below 90% (the DfE threshold for persistent absence) may be contacted to discuss the reasons for this.


If a child is absent from school, it is the parent or carer's responsibility to contact the school to let them know of the absence and the reason for it.  This phone call should be made as soon as the parent knows their child will be absent.  If a parent does not phone to notify the school of their child's absence, we will call during the morning.


Sometimes an absence is known about in advance, such as medical appointments.  In these cases, the parent should inform the school office of the intended absence.


There may be circumstances where a parent wishes to take their child out of school for a day or longer.  All such requests for absence should be made in writing to the headteacher, using the form provided.  These absences are authorised at the head's discretion and only in significant extenuating circumstances.  Family holidays during term-time are only authorised if the headteacher is satisfied that the family would not have been able to take the holiday at another time.


We try hard to work with parents whose children are experiencing attendance issues.  This will include identifying the underlying reason for the absences and seeking to put into place measures to support the family.  This may happen through a CAF or other support from school.  Sometimes, despite the help that is offered, a child's attendance does not improve and the school may refer the case to the Education Welfare Officer.  It is always the school's intention to work with the family to achieve the next possible result for the child.