The Importance of Regular Attendance at Winlaton West Lane

It’s critically important that children attend school regularly and that any unavoidable absence is minimised. The negative impact of even a few days off can be very serious, preventing your child from reaching their full potential.Please make an effort to ensure your child arrives promptly. Our school bell rings at 8.50am – arriving at school even a few minutes late means children will have missed vital instructions at the start of a lesson and may subsequently find it difficult to catch up.

The target for attendance is 96%. If your child is off 9 days during the academic year this would be the equivalent of a 95% attendance. If possible, medical appointments should be made outside school hours or towards the end of afternoon or morning sessions, to minimise the impact on learning.

Fixed Penalty Notices

With the implementation of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003) the Local Authority has statutory powers to use Penalty Notices to help tackle irregular school attendance and unauthorised absences. An unauthorised absence is any absence that the school has not given permission for or the parent / carer has been unable to provide a reason for the absence, which is acceptable to the school.

The school will discuss with the Local Authority any cases of unauthorised absence and whether the issuing of a Penalty Notice would be appropriate. A Penalty Notice is an alternative to a prosecution to the offence and can be issued when it is felt that parents / carers are failing in their legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school regularly.

The 2007 regulations set out the procedures for issuing penalty notices (fines) to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school. Amendments to 2007 regulations will reduce the timescales for paying a penalty notice.  Parents must, from September 2013, pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days.

What to do if your child is ill

If your child is unavoidably ill please remember to telephone school as soon as possible. You can telephone the school on 0191 414 2557. It is important that we know your child is absent so we can ensure their safety on site at school as well as supporting you, should you have any problems. If you do not report the absence then we will try to get in touch with you. Where you are taking a child to an appointment, please let us see the appointment card or letter so we can add it to the child’s record as evidence for the absence.

If your child has an ongoing medical issue it may be necessary for us to complete a care plan with you. Please remember persistent or regular absence can only be authorised if medical evidence is provided by a G.P. or Consultant. The school nurses are always available if you need advice and can be contacted via the school office.

Just see how little it takes…

  • 4 days absent = 98% attendance
  • 9.5 days absent = 95% attendance
  • 19 days absent = 90% attendance
  • 28.5 days absent = 85% attendance
  • 38 days absent = 80% attendance


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