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Orton Wistow Primary School is committed to providing an education of the highest quality for all its pupils/students and recognises that this can only be achieved by supporting and promoting excellent school attendance for all.  This is based upon the belief that only by attending school regularly and punctually will children and young people be able to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.  High attainment depends on good attendance.

Everyone – including pupils/students, parents and carers, all school staff, school governors, Local Authority, external agencies – have a responsibility for ensuring good school attendance and have important roles to play.  We are committed to working in partnership with families and other agencies to achieve the best outcomes for children via the early help pathways available.

We believe that ours is a successful, welcoming school which you and your child/children plays their part in making it so. We aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of our school community to achieve excellence. For children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly, and your child should be at school, on time, every day on which the school is open (Isle of Wight V Platt) unless the reason for the absence is exceptional.

All staff (teaching and support) at our school have a key role to play in supporting and promoting excellent school attendance and will work to provide an environment in which all our pupils/students are eager to learn, feel valued members of the school community and look forward to coming to school every day.  Staff also have a responsibility to set a good example in matters relating to their own attendance and punctuality.

Regular attendance is so important as it gives your child the best opportunity to learn. Any absences will affect the pattern of your child’s schooling and consistent absences may seriously affect learning.  Any child’s absence disrupts teaching routines, not only for your child but for others in the same class.

The school liaises closely with our Local Authority and other agencies using an Early Help pathway (Early Help Referral) which assists in the assessment of need in order for appropriate support to be given.  This initial pathway enables further referrals to external agencies to be made and further support acquired to support families to remove any barriers that are preventing regular attendance.

Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason is an offence in law and may result in prosecution.

Expectations and Daily routines

Our school starts at 8.50am, and we expect all children to be in class by this time.  Registers are marked at 8.50am and close at 9.10am (recommend no more than 20 mins). 

Your child will receive an unauthorised late mark if they arrive after the register is closed.  Your child will be given a ‘U’ code (unauthorised late) in line with regulations, and this may mean that you face legal action if they persist.

When your child is late, they miss the start of the day, they can miss work, and this will impact on their learning.  Late arrivals also disrupt lessons for other pupils in the class, which is not fair on them or your child.

Absence Procedure

If your child is going to be absent from school, you must contact the school on the first day and subsequent days of absence and inform the school the reason for the absence (unless it is a diagnosed medical condition and evidence is on file).  You can do this several ways:

  • telephone
  • text
  • email
  • Calling into the school and speaking to a staff member

If your child is absent, and you do not contact us, we may, under our safeguarding policy:

  • Telephone, text or email you on the first day and every following day of absence if we have not heard from you
  • Contact emergency numbers held on our database
  • Undertake a home visit if no contact is received from you Invite you in to discuss the situation with us
  • Call 101 (Police) and request a safe and well check if all other attempts to contact you fail to get a response
  • Invite you to discuss the absences with us
  • Take legal action if there are persistent absences, which may be in the form of penalty notices issued to each parent/carer for each child or legal action through the courts.

Who to contact if you or your child/children have questions or concerns about attendance?

  • Day-to-day – speak to the teacher.
  • More detailed support – speak to the School Attendance Lead.  You can contact the school office by telephone (01733 370646) or email us on ( and a call back or appointment will be organised for you.

Leave of absence/single absence event

As a school we ask parents/carers not to take children out of school without the permission of the headteacher as per the Law and Legislation. Please remember that any savings you think you may make by taking a holiday in school time are offset by the cost to your child’s education.

Headteacher’s must comply with The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday.

All applications for leave of absence must be made in advance.  In deciding about whether to authorise the leave the Headteacher will consider the circumstances of each application individually taking into account the evidence submitted in support.  If the request is refused the Headteacher will inform all parties of their decision.  If the Headteacher grants the request it is for the Headteacher to determine the length of time the pupil can be away from school.

It is important that you understand that we may only authorise such absences in exceptional circumstances.  It is unlikely that a leave of absence will be granted for the purpose of a family holiday.

Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school (with at least four weeks’ notice) and/or different from that agreed by the school will be classed as unauthorised and may attract sanctions such as a Penalty Notice per parent/carer per child.

A Leave of Absence form can be collected from the school office.

For the full Attendance Policy and for more information, please download the Attendance Policy below: