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South Lake Primary School


 At South Lake, we work with you to ensure that your child is in school every day.

Attendance Team

To comply with the Department of Education’s expectations on attendance, we now have an Attendance Team in school to ensure all children are in school each day. The aim is to support families in getting their children into school, addressing any barriers and helping children to form good attendance habits and flourish at school.

How this will look for you

If your child is absent from school, you will receive a call from the Attendance Officer, Mrs Marshall. If we have not heard from you and cannot contact you, we will consider whether we need to make a welfare visit to your home.

There will be attendance team meetings in school each week and if your child’s attendance is below 90%, for whatever reason, you will receive a letter informing you of this. The table below sets out the timeline we follow where attendance is a concern.



Letter 1


Sent because your child’s attendance is below 90%.

Your child’s teacher will also be made aware and may chat with you to discuss any support needed.

Letter 2

Usually sent 3 school weeks later if there has been further absence. The attendance will have been monitored by the team during that time.

Letter 3

Usually 2 school weeks later if there has been further absence. You will be asked to attend a meeting.

Attendance Meeting

Held in school with members of the Attendance Team, including a senior leader. There will be a discussion of reasons for absence and any support needed. Attendance targets will be set.

Referral to the Education Service

Usually 2 - 3 school weeks later, if attendance targets have not been met.

A referral can result in penalty charges and in prosecution if attendance fails to improve.


School doors open at 8.40 a.m. and school starts at 8.50 a.m. Children need to be in their classroom, ready to learn, by 8.50 a.m. Children who are late miss registration and morning work and take time to settle. If this happens regularly, it is detrimental to their learning. Repeated lateness will also be monitored through Attendance Team meetings, and you may be contacted if your child is regularly arriving in class after 8.50 a.m.

Unwell Children

If a child is too unwell to be in school, please contact the school office by phone or by emailing If the child's attendance is usually good, or we are sure they are genuinely ill, we will authorise the absence. If your child’s attendance is a concern, we may ask to see evidence. If your child has an ongoing diagnosed medical condition that necessitates hospital attendance, please provide hospital appointment letters.


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. Taking a prolonged absence during which a wedding or funeral takes place is 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. Absence authorisation is the responsibility of the Headteacher.

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


Orchard Learning Alliance