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South Lake Primary School


 At South Lake, good attendance and punctuality is expected from all members of our school community. 

Absence from school affects well-being as well as attainment, and is a potential safeguarding risk.

The better your child’s attendance, the better they will do educationally. Being late to school on a regular basis impacts on valuable parts of the day and, ultimately, on the child's attainment and well-being. 

Unacceptable reasons for absence from school-:

  • Shopping trips
  • Birthdays
  • Non-urgent medical and dental appointments
  • Tiredness
  • Unwillingness to attend

Evidence of all medical and dental appointments during school hours must be emailed to prior to the appointment so that this can be authorised.

 Protocol for Following-up Absences

We aim to call to check on any absence by 10.00 a.m. to ask for a detailed reason. 

If a child is repeatedly late for school, the parent/carer will be asked for an explanation.

If your child's attendance is below 90% without good reason, their attendance will be monitored weekly by the attendance team, until a sustained improvement is seen. (Good reason would be, for instance, a stay in hospital). 

The pastoral care team will contact any family where attendance is below 90% to seek reasons for the absence and ways to support the child's attendance. 

If the absence fails to improve, a meeting will be called with the attendance officer and/or pastoral care team to seek a solution. A target will be set. If necessary, the case will be discussed with the Education Welfare Officer.

If this target is not met, a meeting will be called with the Headteacher and attendance officer to discuss reasons for absence and the school's expectations.

If the attendance does not improve within the given timeframe, advice will be sought from the Education Welfare Team and a decision will be made whether to refer the case to them to seek their intervention, which could include prosecution, or to refer to Children's Services as a safeguarding risk. 


Term-time Absence for holidays:

                     Holidays during term time will not be authorised.

An absence will only be authorised if there is an exceptional reason, and absence taken without authorisation can incur a fine.  For your information, the fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are: rare, significant, unavoidable and short; and by 'unavoidable' we mean an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time, such as a funeral. However, taking a prolonged absence during which a wedding or funeral takes place is also unlikely to be authorised.

The cost of a holiday is not considered to be an exceptional reason. 

Should you feel that you have “exceptional” reasons for applying, please contact the school at the earliest opportunity and use the request for absence form, providing full details and evidence where possible supporting the request.  The Headteacher will determine whether the circumstances are exceptional or not.

Please be aware that unauthorised holiday absence of 5 days or more can now result in the issuing of a Penalty Notice which carries a fine of up to £120 - and court prosecution if unpaid after 28 days. Penalty Notices are served per parent, per child. Court prosecution can also happen if the term-time absence is repeated.

Wokingham Guidance on Term Time Holidays