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Attendance and Absence

Regular academy attendance is a prerequisite of a good education and securing it is a priority at West St Leonards Primary Academy. The damage and disruption caused by poor attendance and lateness affects not only the individual pupil but also adversely affects other pupils and teaching staff.

It is a parent or carer’s responsibility, and their legal duty, to ensure that their child attends school. The vast majority of parents impress upon their children the value of punctual and regular attendance. We seek to work in partnership with all parents to encourage such values. Through good communication, the whole academy community will have a clear understanding of the academy’s policy and expectations regarding pupil attendance.

Unplanned Absence

The pupil’s parent/carer must notify the school of the reason for the absence on each day of an unplanned absence by 08:30 or as soon as practically possible by calling the academy office on 01424 422080, option 1, or email
Included in the message should be the child’s name, class, reason for absence and the name of the person reporting and relationship to the child.

If the authenticity of the illness is in doubt, the academy may ask the pupil’s parent/carer to provide medical evidence, such as a doctor’s note, prescription, appointment card or other appropriate form of evidence.

We will not ask for medical evidence unnecessarily. If the academy is not satisfied about the authenticity of the illness, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and parents/carers will be notified.

Planned Absence

Attending a medical or dental appointment will be counted as authorised if the pupil’s parent/carer notifies the academy in advance of the appointment.

If a pupil is present at registration but has a medical appointment during the session in question, no absence needs be recorded for that session.

We encourage parents/carers to make medical and dental appointments out of academy hours where possible. Where this is not possible, the pupil should be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary.

The pupil’s parent/carer must also apply for other types of term-time absence as far in advance as possible of the requested absence.

Parents / carers should request any leave of absence in term time by contacting the school office, requesting a 'withdrawal from learning application form'. This form should include as much information about the reason for absence and must be signed by the parent/carer. The completed form should be returned to the school office ahead of the planned absence.

Term time holidays are not permitted, unless there are exceptional circumstances, details of which should be included in the withdrawal from learning application form. All requests are passed to the principal for consideration and families will be notified within one week of the decision. If you do not agree with the decision, there is a right of appeal available before the pupil is withdrawn from learning.

Withdrawal from learning may result in a penalty notice being issued.

To read our full Academy Attendance Policy, please see our Policies page