At Woodhall Primary School we believe that the most important factor in fostering good attendance is the development of positive attitudes towards school. This is why we are committed to inspiring a love of learning by providing opportunities that ensure talents are nurtured, needs are met and all can flourish. In order to achieve this, it is important that children attend school every day, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so. Indeed, the importance of good attendance is heavily supported by research, which demonstrates a direct link between regular school attendance and children going on to lead successful lives. Therefore, the whole school community, parents or carers, teachers, support staff, governors and children, have a responsibility for ensuring good school attendance and have important roles to play.
Please take time to read the Attendance Policy which is available in the attachments section on this page.
Why is good attendance important?
Good attendance and punctuality are vital for success at school, as well as establishing positive life habits that are necessary for future success.
Through regular attendance, children can:
Engage in essential learning, developing knowledge and skills that are cumulative. Missing just a single lesson will impact on future learning!
Build friendships and develop social groups
Develop life skills
Enjoy and celebrate their success
As a school, we welcome the opportunity to work with parents and carers so children can achieve good attendance.
Absences are only permitted for valid reasons such as:
Medical or dental appointments
Wherever possible, parents should always try to arrange medical and dental appointments during school holidays or after school hours.
The following list is not exhaustive, but outlines some of the examples of unauthorised absence:
Forgetting school term dates
Absences which have ot been explained
Arriving at school after the register has closed
Truancy before or during the school day
Keeping pupils off school unnecessarily or without explanation
Day trips or family outings
Problems with uniform/clothing
Birthdays and holidays
Only in exceptional circumstances may an absence or holiday be authorised during term time – this will be decided by the headteacher. Exceptional circumstances do not involve cheaper costs, family availability or weather conditions.
How do I request a Term Time Absence/ Holiday?
All absences, including holidays, must be requested as far in advance as possible using the ‘Absence Request Form’ – forms are available from the school office
The minimum notice period for requests is 20-days. A reason for the request must be included, with any supporting evidence attached to the form.
Upon a request, the school will confirm, in writing and within 10-days, the outcome of the absence request.
If the headteacher is satisfied with the evidence and the notice period given, they will authorise the absence.
Parents/ carers considering applying for a request of absence must seek permission before taking their child/ren out of school. Without permission, parents/ carers may be issued with a penalty notice.
A penalty notice may be issued if a request is rejected by the headteacher and a child/ren do not attend school during the absence period requested.
Failure to pay a penalty notice will lead to prosecution.
Where a child’s absence request is denied, and if the child does not attend during the absence period requested, it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and the school may apply the penalty notice procedure.
Further information on Suffolk County Council’s penalty notice procedures can be found by following this link: