Attendance Matters

Great Whelnetham Church of England Primary School recognises that there are clear links between attendance and attainment, and attendance and safeguarding children. We acknowledge class attendance on a weekly basis and individual attendance termly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When does my child need to be in school?
Your child should be at school in good time for registration. The morning register will be called promptly at 9.00am and the afternoon register at 1.00pm. 

What happens if my child is late?
Registration finishes at 9.15.am in the morning and 1.15pm in the afternoon.
If your child arrives between 9.00am and 9.15am he/she will be marked late.
If your child arrives after 9.15am he/she will be marked absent.
If your child arrives between 1.00 pm and 1.15pm he/she will be marked late.
If your child arrives after 1.15pm he/she will be marked absent.

Pupils who arrive after registration should report to the school office and sign in. If a pupil is late on a regular basis a letter will be sent home highlighting this and asking if parents would like to discuss the reason for this or if any support from school would help. 

Does the school need letters explaining my child’s absence or will a phone call do?
We would expect a parent to telephone the school on the first day of absence and each consecutive day. If you do not phone us, we will phone you. However, we need a written explanation for the absence on your child’s return to school - this can either be by letter, or email or contact us.

If we do not receive an explanation, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence, and this will be shown on your child’s end of year report. 

What reasons will the school accept for absences?

  • Illness where the school is satisfied that the child is too ill to attend
  • Emergency dental/medical appointment (please make routine appointments after school or during the holidays)
  • Day of religious observance
  • Family bereavement

Except in the case of illness, you should ask for permission for your child to miss school well in advance, giving full details. The Absence Request form is available below or from the school office. In cases of recurring absences through illness you may be asked to produce a medical certificate.

What is unacceptable?

The school will not authorise absence for holidays, day trips, visiting relatives, shopping, birthdays or looking after brothers or sisters, etc.

Will the school contact me if my child is absent?
The school operates a first day response to absences: we will phone you if we have not heard from you. This is because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure your child’s safety as well as their regular school attendance.

If we are concerned about aspects of your child’s attendance or punctuality we will contact you to discuss the best way forward. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact our Attendance Officer, Mrs Kimber if you have any concerns you wish to discuss. 

How will I know what my child’s attendance is?
Attendance reports will be sent home on a termly basis to inform parents. This will also be indicated on their end of term reports. 

I am thinking about sending my child on an extended absence for an overseas trip to visit relatives. What should I do?
The school recognises that such absence can be important for children to keep in touch with their extended family. Contact your child’s class teacher as soon as possible to discuss the best time for such a visit. The school would strongly recommend that such absences do not take place during your child’s SATs month. 

What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?
Make sure your child gets enough sleep and gets up in plenty of time each morning. Ensure that he/she leaves home in the correct clothes and properly equipped. Show your child, by your interest, that you value his/her education. Your child should bring his/her home-school book and reading book home each evening. Please ensure you look at them with your child and check for any homework, letters etc. 

My child is trying to avoid coming to school. What should I do?
Contact your child’s class teacher immediately and openly discuss your worries. Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons – difficulties with school work, bullying, friendship problems, family difficulties. It is important that we identify the reason for your child’s reluctance to attend school and work together to tackle the problem.

In some cases you may find it helpful to discuss the circumstances of your child’s difficulties with an Education Welfare Officer. The school may also refer you to an Education Welfare Officer who works with staff and families if difficulties with attendance arise.