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Royal Wharf Primary School

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Late/Absence Procedures

The information below has been taken from our attendance policy. Please refer to this document for further information


Registration and punctuality procedures

Registers are taken twice a day, once at the start of the school day at 8:50 a.m., and once during the afternoon session. The registers will remain open for 35 minutes.  Pupils arriving before the end of the Registration period will be coded L (Late before registers close) which is a present mark.  The number of minutes late will be recorded in the register. Pupils arriving after the registers have closed will be coded U (Late after registers close) which counts as an unauthorised absence.

Pupils in Years 2-6 should be in class by 8:45am at the latest and pupils in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 should be in class by 8:50am at the latest. The school gates will open by 8:40am to give you suitable drop-off time. This is so that lessons can begin promptly and your child does not miss out.

Only the Headteacher or designated member(s) of staff acting on their behalf can authorise absence.  If there is no known reason for the absence at registration, then the absence will be recorded as unauthorised, until a satisfactory reason is provided.  If the reason given is not satisfactory in the school’s view, and/or evidence of the reason cannot be provided, the absence will be coded as O (Unauthorised absent).  Absence notes received from parents/carers will be kept for the remainder of the academic year; or longer if there are concerns that require further investigation or legal action.  If a pupil is persistently late the senior leader responsible for attendance will arrange to meet with the family as soon as the pattern is identified.


First Day Absence Contact

Parents are expected to notify the school if their child is unable to attend for any unavoidable reason, such as illness.  If the school does not receive notification an admin officer will text/telephone on the first day of absence, to try to ascertain the reason.  First day contact will be carried out as early as possible in the school day, in order to notify parents whose children may have set off for school, but not arrived, as quickly as possible.


Second Day Absence Contact

If the child is still absent on the second day without contact from the family, a telephone call will be made to the home.  The family may be asked to come to school for a meeting.


Continuing Absence Procedures

In the event of an absence of three or more days without contact from the family, a home visit may be made.  Any child who is absent without explanation for 8 consecutive school days (85%), who has a pattern of erratic attendance (85%), or persistent lateness after registers close will be referred to the senior leader with responsibility for attendance and the safeguarding officer. 


Frequent/Persistent Absence Procedures

Regular trawls of the registers will be made by admin staff to identify pupils with a pattern of absences that may lead to Persistent Absence (PA), that is to say absence of 15% or more in a half term.  The senior attendance lead will be responsible for putting in place actions for each pupil of concern.  Initially the school will try to resolve the problem with parents/carers, but if the pattern continues the school will refer to the School Health Adviser if the problem appears to be a medical one.  In cases where there appear to be issues requiring outside intervention to support the family and the child, a referral may be made through the Triage system for external agency support.  All PA pupils and their parents will be subject to an Action Plan or Parenting Contract. Such a plan or contract may include allocation of additional in-school or external support.  Examples of unjustifiable reasons for absence from school would be:

  • Going shopping with parents
  • Birthdays
  • Minding other younger children in the family
  • Staying at home because other members in the family are unwell
  • Day trips and holidays in term time that have not been agreed
  • Arriving at school too late to get a present mark
  • Truancy
  • Death of a pet


Consequences of Poor Attendance/Punctuality

For pupils whose attendance and/or punctuality fails to improve, after a range of interventions and support measures have been tried by the school, the ultimate consequences may be one of the following:

  1. The school may ask the Council to issue a Penalty Notice on its behalf.  A Penalty Notice carries a fine of £60, per parent, per child.  If the fine is not paid within 20 days it rises to £120 per parent, per child.  If not paid at all, court action will be initiated.
  2. The school may ask the Council initiate court action under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996, which could lead to fines of up to £2,500, or even imprisonment.
  3. In some cases, action may be taken under the Children Act 1989 to protect the welfare and development of the child.