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Whitchurch CE Infant & Nursery Academy




We believe that the infant years are an important time when the foundations for learning are made and good attendance is therefore extremely important.  Pupils need to attend school regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them by law.


Research shows that children with high attendance at infant school:


  • benefit more greatly from their education;
  • achieve better results at the end of Key Stage One; and
  • are more likely to achieve well at junior and secondary school.


In law, parents/carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance of their child at the school at which the child is registered, unless the absence has been authorised by the school. Only schools have the power to authorise or grant a leave of absence.


Our school attendance target is 96%.  Research shows that once attendance drops below this level progress may suffer and achievement will be lower.


If your child has 10 days of absence during the year, his or her attendance for the school year will be only 94.7% and therefore at the level where there is likely to be an impact on learning.


If your child had 10 days of absence every year over the 7 years spent at infant and junior school, it would be equivalent to him or her missing an entire term in school!


Clearly there will be occasions when a child is unable to attend school e.g. due to illness.  However, we ask that all other absences are kept to a minimum and avoided if at all possible.


To support you in monitoring your child’s attendance throughout the year, we may contact you by letter if your child’s attendance falls below our attendance target. By highlighting issues early, we hope to be able to work together with parents and carers to ensure that your child receives the education they are entitled to and to prevent small problems escalating into issues that need the involvement of other agencies.


Medical and dental appointments


In order to minimise disruption to your child’s learning general medical or dental appointments should be made outside the school day where possible. When an appointment has to be made during school hours, please inform the school office. Please ensure you bring your appointment card / letter to the school.


Leave of absence requests


Schools are only able to authorise absence from school in exceptional circumstances. In making a request for an authorised absence from school you will need to explain why the circumstances are exceptional.  To request leave of absence, please complete and return a ‘Request for Pupil Leave of Absence from School in Exceptional Circumstances’ form.  This form is available from the school office.


Please note there is no general right to authorise absence for a family holiday. If you take your child out of school without permission the absence will be unauthorised and we will consider legal action.


End of Key Stage One assessment – Year 2 children


Please be aware that we are very unlikely to be able to authorise leave for Year 2 children during the End of Key Stage One assessment period as the children will be taking part in assessment activities which enable us to moderate our judgments with those of other schools:

The assessment period is during the months of May and June 2019.


Phonics assessment


Please be aware that we are unlikely to be able to authorise leave for Year 1 children during the week commencing 10th June 2019 as the children will be taking part in the statutory phonics assessment. The Department for Education also requires that any Year 2 child, who did not achieve the expected standard in the phonics assessment made at the end of Year 1 is re-assessed during the week commencing 10th June. We are also unable to authorise any leave for these children during this time.


Parents/carers who take their child out of school without the absence being agreed and authorised by the school can be issued a penalty notice.




Sometimes circumstances beyond our control mean that we are late. This is a fact of life and we accept this. However, persistent lateness can and should be avoided.



For those children accessing the 30 hours free education entitlement session times are:

Monday - Friday 8.50 - 3.05


For those children accessing the 15 hours free education entitlement from Monday to Wednesday morning, session times are:

Monday and Tuesday times are  8.50 - 3.05   and Wednesday 8.50 - 11.20.


For those children accessing the 15 hours free education entitlement from Wednesday afternoons to Friday, session times are:

Wednesday morning 12.35 - 3.05 and 8.50 - 3.05 on Thursday and Friday.


Early Years and Key Stage 1.


School doors open at 8:50 and close at 9.00

Lunch time is between 11.30 and 1.05, depending on the age of your child

School finishes at 3:05


Children who are persistently late miss a significant amount of learning, often the most important aspect, as the beginning of the day is where the teacher explains the learning and what each child is expected to achieve.


Where there have been persistent incidents of lateness parents/carers will receive a letter advising them of the concerns and the school will provide opportunities for parents/carers to seek support and advice to address these issues.

Lateness equals lost learning:


5 minutes late = 3 school days of lost learning over a school year

15 minutes late = 9 school days of lost learning

30 minutes late = a whole month of learning!


We encourage children to take responsibility for their attendance by presenting Be Here Bear to the class with the highest percentage attendance each week and publish the winners here on our website. 


It is our aim to work with parents and carers to ensure that each child receives the education they are entitled to.

Attendance Policy