West Lodge

Primary School

Attendance / Illness / Absence

School Attendance
Going to school regularly is important to your child’s future. Children who miss school frequently can fall behind with their work and do less well in exams.

Good attendance shows potential employers that your child is reliable. Research suggests that children who attend school regularly could also be at less risk of getting involved in antisocial behaviour or crime.
The Law
Once a child is of compulsory school age, children must receive a suitable full-time education.  Once your child is registered at a school, you are legally responsible for making sure they attend regularly. If your child fails to do so, you risk getting a penalty notice or being prosecuted in court.


Authorised absence
If your child is ill or unable to attend school for some reason, you should contact the school by phone to notify us. Depending on the reasons for absence, the Head Teacher will decide whether the absence can be authorised or not. Where absence is sickness related schools may require medical certification, particularly where the absence lasts a few days.
Unauthorised absence
Absence from school is likely to be recorded as unauthorised absence when:


  • there is no parental explanation
  • the school is not satisfied with the explanation for an absence
  • an application of leave of absence has not been granted

In any of these situations you could face prosecution.
Head Teachers are no longer permitted to agree a Leave of Absence during term time unless in exceptional circumstances. This includes where parents decide to take their children out of school for a family holiday during term time. If you intend to take your child out of school for a leave of absence during term time, you must have requested this in advance (using our leave of absence request form) and had your request agreed by the Head Teacher. Failure to do this could result in a fine or prosecution.
Support from school
Please do let us know if there is a difficulty with your child's attendance and you need our support.  If your child starts missing school, there may a problem we are not aware of.  We want every child to have great attendance so that they have every opportunity to meet their potential.

Low or irregular attendance
If your child's attendance is low or irregular, we will write to you.  We may also want to meet with you to agree a plan with you to improve your child’s attendance. If you don’t follow the plan and things don't improve, the school will take further action.

At West Lodge we believe that regular school attendance and punctuality is the key to enabling children to maximise the educational opportunities available to them and become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults, who are able to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community.


Lateness is actively discouraged.  Lates are recorded on a daily basis, including the time the child arrives in school and any reason given.


Please read our Attendance Policy below for more information.