Wenhaston Primary School



Please read the absence information letter for parents using this link.



In the event of sickness, absence or late arrival we ask parents to:

Contact the office as soon as possible but definitely before 9am, whenever their child is unable to attend.
Keep the school well informed in cases of lengthy absence, so that work can be sent home in certain cases and in order for staff to prepare for the child’s return.
Provide notice indicating attendance at the dentist, doctor or optician before the arranged appointment unless an emergency situation has arisen and sign their child(ren) out and back in again when attending appointments during the school day. We please ask for such appointments to be made out of school hours where possible.

Let the school know if their child is going to be late, e.g. if a car breaks down; if an urgent appointment has been made.

Term time holidays will not be authorised and only 'exceptional circumstances' will allow an absence applied for in advance to be authorised by the headteacher. Fines may be imposed on parents taking their children out of school for unauthorised absences. Application forms for absence are available via the school office.


We believe that the school and parents should work together in order to achieve high standards of attendance and punctuality.

The school day begins at 8.40 a.m. when the register will be taken.  Children arriving after 8.40 a.m. should report to the school office. 8.40am - 8.50am arrival is a late arrival. After 8.50am the pupil will be marked as an unauthorised absence which is officially an absence for the morning session. If you have an emergency, please phone and leave a message or speak to a member of staff who will be aware that you have a problem getting in on time on that occasion. 

Registers close at 8.50a.m. Lateness after this time is classed as an unauthorised absence unless it is for a medical appointment or a reason is provided which can be authorised by the Head Teacher. Children can only be released for appointments during the day if they are personally collected from the school by a parent or other known adult. Older children will be allowed to walk home but only with written permission from their parents or guardians.

It is very important that your child misses as little school as possible. Please read the following information on attendance, the school’s procedures, and the help and support that is available.

Extended Absence from School:

Following a change in Department for Education regulations from September 2013, schools may only authorise absence in exceptional circumstances.

These include:

  • family emergencies
  • the funeral of a close family member
  • the wedding of a close family member

Holidays will not count as a reason to authorise absence in term time, with the exception of the children of armed forces personnel on leave from active service.

When applying for absence you must complete an ‘Absence Request Form’. You must complete one form per child and the form should be handed in to the school office at least 5 days in advance.


Penalty Notices:

Penalty Notices are issued for unauthorised absence taken during term time where a pupil’s overall attendance is less than 90%, the leave of absence has not been authorised by the school, an absence has not been requested in advance, or a pupil has had a minimum of 6 sessions (3 school days) lost to unauthorised absence during the previous six months in the academic year and additional unauthorised absence during the previous twelve months (up to and including the day the Education Welfare Service is noticed).

The school is required to report unauthorised absences to the Local Authority (LA). If your child has had a minimum of 6 sessions (3 school days) lost to unauthorised absence during the previous six months in the academic year (and additional unauthorised absence during the previous twelve months), the LA can issue a ‘Penalty Notice’ to parents. Currently, each parent can be fined £60 per child as long as the fine is paid within 21 days, or £120 per parent if it is paid after 21 days. 



Please try to arrange non-urgent appointments with the doctor, dentist or optician outside of school hours. If your child does have an appointment within school hours, they should not miss the whole day. Please bring them into school before and after the appointment.

Please let the school staff know if your child has been feeling unwell and be reassured that school staff will be able to care for your child. If they become unwell in school and need to go home, our staff will contact you.

If your child is unwell and unable to come to school, please let the school know as soon as possible. The school staff will ask you for details about your child’s illness so that they can give you the latest advice, or they may contact the school nurse for further information. The school nurse may in turn contact you to offer further support and guidance.

Because over half the absences from school are reported to be for health reasons, the ‘Think Twice – Every Day Counts’ initiative has been set up to give advice and guidance if you are worried your child may not be well enough for school.

You can also get advice and some treatment from your local pharmacist, of course; you don’t have to wait to see a doctor.