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What do Wiltshire Council say about Attendance?

Why is attendance at school important?

  • School attendance has a direct effect on a child’s educational outcomes and is important for your child’s future
  • School attendance enables children to access all available opportunities and reach their full potential
  • Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less

What could I do to help minimise my child’s time off school?

  • One of the best ways to help your child is to make all doctors’, dentists’, opticians’ and other appointments for after school hours
  • Make sure your child is never late for school
  • If this is difficult, you should contact your child’s school to discuss this matter. Speak to the class teacher, School Attendance Officer or Headteacher

How do schools work out my child’s attendance?

  • By Law, all children between the age of 5 and 16 must be in suitable full time education
  • Schools count each day as two sessions - morning and afternoon. Your child has to attend 10 full sessions (five days morning and afternoon) each week to achieve 100 per cent attendance for that week
  • Schools then calculate your child’s average percentage attendance over the whole term.

You do not have a legal right to take your children out of school. It is always the Headteachers decision whether or not to allow you to take your child out of school during term time. If you do not ask their permission in advance, or they do not give it and you take your child out of school anyway, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.

Headteacher's may authorise an absence from school during term time if there are exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances may include:

  • the death or terminal illness of a person in the immediate family
  • service personnel and other employees who cannot take leave outside term time at any point in the academic year.

Family holidays are not generally considered to be an exceptional circumstance. You must make any requests for leave of absence in advance and you must be the parent that the child normally lives with. It is important to give the Headteacher as much information as possible when applying for a leave of absence.

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