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West Coker CofE VC Primary School

'All Life's Strands Entwined'

Late/Absence Procedures

Authorised Absence

An absence is classified as authorised when a child has been away from school for a legitimate reason and the school has received notification from a parent/carer. For example, if a child has been unwell and the parent writes a note or telephones the school to explain the absence.

Only the school can make an absence authorised. Parents do not have this authority. An explanation of absence does not automatically make it authorised. For example, if a parent takes a child out of school to go shopping during school hours, this will not mean it is an authorised absence.

Unauthorised Absence

An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of the school.

Therefore the absence is unauthorised if a child is away from school without good reason, even with the support of a parent.

If a child is absent

Parents should contact the school on the first morning of absence, preferably before 9.00am, giving the reason for their child’s absence and when their child will return.

When the child returns to school the parent should submit a letter to the class teacher explaining their child’s absence. This letter will be forwarded to our school office so we can cross check our records.

Parents should send a note to the class teacher prior to the day of any planned absence, for example if a child has a medical appointment.

In order to safeguard the children in our school we will always follow-up un-notified or unexplained absences after registration with a phone call on the first day of absence. This is to ensure that if a child is not at school they are safely in the care of their parent or an authorised adult.

A daily log is kept of all children for whom no notification for absence has been made and of phone calls made.


The school day starts at 08.50am. This is the time that the school bell is rung and children are expected to line up and be met by their teachers. It is important that pupils are on time as the first few minutes of the school day begin with key teaching. If a child misses this short but vital session, their work for the whole day may be affected. Late arrivals are disruptive to the whole class and may be embarrassing for the child. Arrival after the close of registration may be marked as an unauthorised absence.


All children arriving after 9.00am must be accompanied to the school office by the parent/carer where they will be asked to sign in.

Alongside attendance, lateness is also monitored regularly.

A daily log is kept of all children who arrive late.