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Water Primary School

Water Primary School


Lates /Absences

Arriving at school

There is an expectation that pupils will arrive at school on time. The doors are opened at 8:50am to give pupils plenty of time to be in their classroom for a 9am start. The doors are closed at 9am. Any pupils arriving after this time must do so through the office.

Minutes late per day Equivalent of missing

5 Minutes late 3.4 school days a year
10 Minutes late  6.9 school days a year
15 Minutes late 10.3 school days a year
20 Minutes late 13.8 school days a year
30 Minutes late 20.7 school days a year


Consequences to parents and pupils of being absent and late.

Every school, by law, has to register pupils twice a day; first thing in the morning at the start of the school day, and again in the afternoon session. If a pupils is fails to attend or arrives late they can be marked as an absence for that session.

If a pupil of compulsory school age is absent, the register must show whether the absence was authorised (acceptable) or unauthorised (where no acceptable reason is given for absence). Only the school can approve the reason for absence.

Authorised absence from school

Where a pupil is absent due to sickness and is genuinely unable to attend school,  then the school, after being informed, may authorise a child’s absence.

It is important to keep the school informed if your child is going to be absent at the start of the day. Please contact the school office.

In law only a headteacher can authorise a pupil’s absence, and may require additional evidence such as a letter from your GP.

Unauthorised absence 

The law states that parent/carer(s) must ensure that their child regularly attends the school where they are registered. Should your child fail to attend school regularly legal action may be taken against you.

Once a child is registered in school, attendance is compulsory. It is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure that their child, when of statutory school age, accesses education appropriate to age, needs and ability.


  • It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure their children arrive at school on time. Lateness can disrupt the learning of others and can result in a pupil feeling greater stress and achieving poorer outcomes.
  • 90 per cent attendance means that your child is absent from lessons for the equivalent of one half day every week.
  • Over five years this is the equivalent of about one half of a school year.
  • Research shows a close link between attendance at school and a child’s achievement. Being late adds up to a loss of learning.
  • All time out of school affects both learning and achievement for pupils. Please make sure your child arrives at school on time.


If a pupil arrives after registration has closed the absence will be recorded as unauthorised for that session. If this persists legal action, in the form of a Penalty Notice or Prosecution under Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996 may follow.


Family holidays and extended leave during term time

Amendments to the registration regulations remove references to family holidays and extended leave as well as the threshold of ten school days. The amendments make it clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances, which came into force on 1st September 2013.

Absence Due to Sickness

Contacting school

Inform the school before 9.30 am on every day your child is absent from school due to illness. Occasionally pupils are too unwell to attend school. The School will monitor and engage with parents as soon as a pattern of absence becomes apparent.

When deciding whether your child is too ill to attend school. Ask yourself:

  • Is your child well enough to carry out the activities of the school day? If not, keep your child at home and consult your GP as appropriate.
  • Does your child have a condition that could be passed on to other children or school staff? If so, keep your child at home.
  • Would you take a day off work if you had this condition? If so, keep your child at home.

By law, only the headteacher can authorise your child’s absence. It is important to keep the school informed if your child is going to be absent as soon as possible at the start of the day. Telephone the school to tell them that your child will be staying at home. The school will ask about the nature of the illness and the expected duration of absence from school.

If your child is frequently absent due to illness the school may request permission to contact your GP for confirmation that they are too ill to attend school.

If it becomes clear that your child will be away from school for longer than expected, phone the school to explain this as soon as possible.


Water Primary School

Burnley Road East, Rossendale

Lancashire, BB4 9PX

01706 216414