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Montacute School

Montacute School

‘Where every moment is a learning opportunity’

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Attendance / Absence / Late Procedures

National Guidelines state that schools need to be providing 32.5 hours of learning every school week. However, it is recognised that specialist settings provide a broad and wide-ranging offer of learning and life-skill development and so are not expected to extend their school day at this present time. Special schools should work to share the overall ambition to increase the length of the school week, where it is beneficial for their pupils to do so and Montacute School will be looking at the possibilities and indeed benefits of doing so, in time to come.


Ginny Bellard

Head Teacher

Montacute School

Montacute School COVID-19 Guide for Families (September 2020)

Letter from Public Health England to All Parents

The intention of the letter is to help prevent children being taken out of school unnecessarily and answer some of the questions parents may have around testing.

Montacute School Attendance Information


Montacute School : Attendance Management Protocol


All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to an efficient, full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have.                                                                                                                                           

Parents/carers have a duty to ensure that their children of compulsory school age are receiving suitable full-time education. Some parents may elect to educate their children at home and may withdraw them from school at any time to do so, unless they are subject to a School Attendance Order.


Schools must monitor pupils’ attendance through their daily register. Schools should agree with their local authority the intervals at which they will inform local authorities of the details of pupils who fail to attend regularly or have missed ten school days or more without permission. Schools should monitor attendance closely and address poor or irregular attendance. It is important that pupils’ poor attendance is referred to the local authority.

If pupils are to reach their full potential they need to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Regular, uninterrupted school attendance is a key factor in helping pupils reach their potential. Every effort should always be made to avoid disruption to a pupil’s education.


School Attendance Monitoring


At school we monitor pupil attendance on a termly basis. Any recorded attendance of less than 90% will prompt further investigation. 90% equates to half a day absence per week. This in turn equates to 4 weeks absence in an academic year. If a pupil persistently had 90% attendance over the course of their education they would have been absent for a whole year of their education.


We understand, particularly in a school such as ours, that illnesses and hospital appointments are sometimes unavoidable and can have a huge impact on a pupil’s attendance capabilities. It is important, when these circumstances arise, that parents/carers maintain good communication with the school in order that we can support and advise them in the best way possible.


We also understand that some pupils who have complex medical needs may need a shorter day or a shorter week. School will only agree such modifications to their timetable if they are supported with a doctor’s letter. The school reserves the right to request a new letter every 2 years, or if a child’s medical status improves.


Some pupils who have severe sensory needs which affect their ability to participate effectively in a whole school day – for example those who struggle with ‘transitions’ or change may benefit from a modified start or finish time. However, this must be by mutual agreement between home and school, and it must be something that is reviewed on a regular basis. In this way school hopes to optimise learning through recognising individual needs. The school will ensure that the Schools Attendance Worker is aware of ‘bespoke’ arrangements.

Where there are concerns over attendance – whether the absences are consecutive or there are ‘broken weeks’ - school will request a meeting with parents/carers.


When agreed attendance levels fall below 80%, school may make a referral to the BCP School Attendance Worker. The Education Welfare Service work with parents/carers to address their child/s attendance difficulties. If, after planned work, unauthorised absences are still a concern, the Local Authority has a duty to consider legal action which may result in prosecution or the issuing of fines. 


Lateness after the Register has Closed

Our daily school registration closes at 9.30am. Any arrivals after this time will be recorded as ‘Unauthorised Lates’. More than 5 late arrivals within 6 weeks (these do not need to be consecutive) may result in a request to attend an attendance meeting.


Absence from School

If a pupil is unwell, parents/carers should ring the school before 8.00am. Absences for medical/ dental appointments should also be advised either via Class Dojo or through the school office with as much advance notice as possible.

If you do not contact us we will ring or text you during the morning to find out why your child is not in school. We may need to record the absence as unauthorised if the reason is not considered acceptable.


Request for leave of absence in term time due to exceptional circumstances

Following amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, which came into effect on the 1st September 2013, schools are only allowed to grant leave of absence from school in exceptional circumstances.

In making a request for leave of absence from school in term time parents need to explain why the circumstances are exceptional, and therefore why the activity cannot be undertaken either at a weekend or within the normal 13 weeks holiday their child has from school. Leave of absence request forms are available from the school office.


The legislation states that Head Teachers can only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances. What amounts to exceptional Circumstances is to be decided by the Head Teacher.


Parents/carers will be notified of the Head Teacher’s decision at the earliest opportunity.

If the circumstances are not considered to be exceptional then parents/carers will be informed of this.

No holiday request will be authorised retrospectively. If a parent/carer takes their child out of school without permission the absence will be recorded as an unauthorised leave of absence, which may result in a request being made to the Local Education Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice if attendance for the previous 12 month period (to include the leave of absence) is not considered to be regular.


It is important for parents/carers to note that once school have requested that the Local Authority issue a Fixed Penalty Notice for a period of unauthorised leave in term time, you will not have an opportunity to discuss this matter further with the Local Authority. Any queries or discussions should be had prior to, or at the time of requesting the leave.

Parents/carers are advised not to make any arrangements until their request has been considered.


Supporting Documents

Montacute School : School Attendance Monitoring Process





Daily am

& pm

Class Teachers

 Complete on-line registration   ensuring reasons are given for all absences.

 Make safeguarding lead aware of any   attendance concerns.

End of Term

Safeguarding Lead

 Look at all Pupil Attendance Records

Beginning of Next Term

Safeguarding Lead

 Discuss information with Headteacher



 Report to Governors

Agreed attendance less than 90%


Look at supporting evidence and consider:

  • authorised v unauthorised
  • lateness
  • known illnesses
  • known issues
  • known medical appointments
  • holidays
  • patterns


Assess pupil progress information

Discuss with class teacher

Consider any therapy (other) interventions

If appropriate telephone and discuss with parents/carers

Mark for ongoing monitoring

Agreed attendance less than 80%


Look at supporting evidence, consider:

  • authorised v unauthorised
  • lateness
  • known  illnesses
  • known issues
  • known medical appointments
  • holidays
  • patterns


Assess pupil progress information

Discuss with class teacher

Consider any therapy (other) interventions

If appropriate telephone and discuss with parents/carers and/or invite to attendance meeting

Mark for ongoing monitoring

Consider referral to SAW

Pupil absent for 10 days or more with no explanation or contact


Pupil fails to return to school at the start of term or after a planned holiday

with no explanation or contact


Follow Child Missing Education (CME) process as agreed with Local Authority


Attempt to contact Family and any other known contacts