Bathampton Primary School

Together on a Learning Adventure

Late & Absence Procedures


We strive to meet the national attendance target of 95% and above and so we have a pro-active approach to absences. Please read our Bathampton Approach to Promoting Good Attendance and Punctuality.




The beginning of the school day is an important time to ensure that children are settled, organised and ready to start learning. We begin every day with DEAR (Drop Everything and Read)  Lateness can not only have an impact on an individual child’s ability to begin their day but can also have a negative impact on timetabled learning time. 



School times


Please drop your child at the main gates to the school  at 8.40am where they will be welcomed by a member of staff. The gates close at 8.50am and any arrivals after that time will need to report to the office and will be recorded as late. 

At the end of the day, gates open at 3.15pm and parents/carers can meet their child on the playground. 


Quick reference information on timings from our attendance policy:


Bathampton School information on timings: 

Our pupils must arrive by 8.50am on each school day.

Our morning register is taken at 8.50am and will be kept open until 9:10am.

Our afternoon Infant Register is taken at between 1pm and 1:15pm and our Junior Register is taken between 1.15pm and 1.30pm.

A pupil who arrives late but before the register has closed will be marked as late (L) – which counts as present.


A pupil who arrives late after the registers close will be marked as absent. If the pupil is late arriving due to a valid reason such as an unavoidable medical appointment, the absence will be authorised. If the pupil is late for no good reason, they will be marked with the unauthorised absence code ‘Late after registers close’ (U).




When a child is unwell, parents are asked to phone the school before 8.30am on 01225 465229 and leave a message on the absence line on each day of absence. Please state the child's name, class and brief details of the illness.  This can be done the evening or weekend before if it becomes clear that a child will not be fit for school the next day.


Parents are asked to let us know immediately if their child has an infectious illness. Please note that the Local Authority publishes guidance for schools on certain illnesses, which requires children to be kept at home for 48 hours after the last episode. This helps to reduce the risk of passing bugs on to other children. Please phone the School Office for advice if you are unsure.


Holiday requests in term time


Children need the continuity and security of undisrupted learning in school. The law states that schools can only authorise holidays in term time in exceptional circumstances. A pupil’s absence in term time can seriously disrupt their learning. Not only do they miss the teaching provided on the days they are away, they are also less prepared after their return for the lessons building on the ones they have missed. This is particularly damaging at the start of the academic year and at the start of terms. There is a consequent risk of under-achievement which the school and parents must avoid term-time holidays. Parents are reminded that important assessments take place during the Summer Term and that the weeks leading up to these are crucial for a child’s preparation.


In exceptional circumstances, a planned absence may be requested using the holiday/absence request form

Request to take your child out of school during term time

Attendance & Welfare Support Service

Education Inclusion Service

Guidance for working with

Attendance & Welfare Support Service



There are many reasons why a school may wish to make a referral to the Attendance & Welfare Support Service (A&WSS) including the following circumstances:


  • Unexplained absences of ten consecutive days


  • Continued unauthorised absence


  • Patterns of irregular attendance


  •    Prior to removing a child from the school roll if the destination school is not known or there are other safeguarding concerns


  • The school has been unable to contact parents


  • The school is concerned that absence may be condoned by parents/carers


  • School refusal


  • The school is concerned that a pupil's absences may be due to emotional or medical difficulties


  • Illegal child employment


  • The child/young person is a vulnerable learner, for example:
  • those with special education needs & disability
  • children in the care of the local authority
  • children from minority ethnic groups
  • traveller children
  • children with carers responsibilities
  • pregnant schoolgirls and teenage parents
  • sick children
  • children in alternative provision

This is not an exhaustive list.





A school should follow their attendance procedures as published in their Attendance Policy. The Policy should be in line with the DfE Working together to improve school attendance.  The Attendance policy needs to be readily accessible on the school website.


Your allocated Attendance & Welfare Support Officer (A&WSO) will be available to analyse attendance data, help you identify pupils where an intervention may be required, support your school level interventions and help signpost to appropriate agencies. This may include home visits, informal meetings and general information gathering to help understand the barriers preventing good attendance.


It is important that the school has taken appropriate and meaningful action to address a pupil's sporadic, poor or non-attendance and has made, or has attempted to make, contact with the parents/carers before a referral for Local Authority Support is made.  Correspondence should be sent to all relevant parties as defined in education law e.g., stepparents, grandparents and absent parents.


A clear record should be kept of all contact made with the parent and the nature of that contact and notes/minutes of any conversations held with parents.  A chronology is a good way to ensure that all information is collected and recorded. Any documents attached to the referral should be related to attendance/absence.

Please note that the definition of “parent” in education is different and having care of a child or young person means that a person with whom the child lives and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, is considered to be a parent in education law.


When making a referral to the A&WSS it must contain evidence that contact and correspondence has been to all relevant parties. Your A&WSO will be able to advise you further if required.



SCHOOL ATTENDANCE MEETING, Assess, Plan, Do and Review



At the school level attendance meeting it will be necessary to draw up an agreed Action Plan to address the issues raised and your assessment of the case. Action plans should consist of the following:


  • what is it that school is hoping to achieve; what is the expectation? This might include an attendance target for a set period of the action plan.
  • the actions required to achieve the expectation.
  • the person/s responsible for the action/s.
  • the review date (not usually more than 3 weeks). Please do not wait 3 weeks if it is evident from an early stage that no progress has been achieved or is unlikely to be achieved by waiting until the review period is at an end.


Actions and targets should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound (SMART). The form should be completed to reflect each individual circumstance and specific information relating to the pupil should be completed on the plan i.e., the pupil’s name should be inserted to demonstrate that the document relates to them rather than leave the generic heading “pupil.”  A copy of the action plan or agreed contract should be sent to the parent/s.


If an invitation has been made to a parent to attend a meeting, evidence of this will be required so even if the arrangements have been made over the telephone or in person it is good practice to follow this up in writing. If the parent fails to attend the meeting and has not sent apologies, then the meeting should go ahead in their absence and the plan should still be made. A copy of the plan should be sent to all parents with a clear review date.


When reviewing an action plan, it will be necessary to decide whether there has been sufficient improvement in the child’s attendance to justify an extension of the review period. If the attendance target has not been met, then the reasons for this will need to be considered at the review meeting. A letter should be sent to the parent to record the outcome.


If the dates of the meetings do not match what was in the invitation to meeting letters, then the school need to be clear on how the new date/times were set, e.g., call to parent, email, second letter. Information outlining the changes need to be submitted with the referral.


Your allocated A&WSO will be available to analyse attendance data, help you identify pupils where an intervention may be required, support your school level interventions and help signpost to appropriate agencies prior to any referral.


Where no significant or sustained improvement in the pupil’s attendance has been secured then an A&WSS referral for support form should be completed in full (The A&WSO can help you complete the referral to ensure it contains all the required documents to allow the case to progress to the LA Legal Services should this be required). It is vital that as much information as possible is made available in order that an accurate assessment can be obtained.


The referral form will be part of the A&WSS case file. Should the LA decide that legal proceedings are necessary; the form will be used as evidence in court and school staff could be called as witnesses.


Once a referral has been accepted then the school need to continue with their safeguarding/1st day call processes.


Following the acceptance of a referral from school the A&WSO will follow the LA Attendance process.


Following further supportive interventions, such as a Parenting Contract, should there be no sustained improvement in the child or young person’s attendance a Local Authority Statutory Interview (LASI) will be considered.


A LASI is a formal process; this can be in the form of a face-to-face meeting arranged and chaired by an A&WSO to discuss a child’s attendance or a Formal Letter Under Caution (LUC) can be sent.


Local authorities must conduct all investigations in accordance with the Police & Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 1984.


There are statutory defences for parents to use under the 1996 Education Act.  The LASI is an opportunity for the A&WSS to establish in each individual case if any of these may apply. If it is established that parents do not have a statutory defence and if prosecution is the appropriate course of action the matter will be managed via the Single Justice Process (SJP) or placed before the Bath Magistrates Court.


Single Justice Procedure


The Single Justice Procedure (SJP) is part of the Government’s strategy to transform summary justice to make it simpler, faster and more proportionate. 


It enables cases to be dealt with by a single magistrate, outside of the traditional courtroom setting, without the attendance of either prosecutor or defendant.


To have their case dealt with by this process a parent will have to plead guilty using the notice that is sent to them.  This will usually get a 33% reduction on any fine. The parent still has the option to attend court even if they make a guilty plea.  A not guilty plea will result in the need to attend court.


The SJP will not be appropriate for all cases.  Where it is not appropriate the case will be placed before the Magistrate.





It is important that, whatever the outcome from court, the child’s attendance continues to be monitored.


The A&WSS will contact you with the result from court.  As soon after the court case as possible the school should arrange a post prosecution meeting with the parent and draw up a new action plan which should include a review date.  The action plan and review date should be sent to the parent following the meeting whether the parents were in attendance or not.


Should the pupil have accrued further unauthorised absences and where your own school level intervention and plans have been followed then your A&WSO can assist with taking this forward again. 




Where there is frequent or persistent absence attributed to illness the member of staff with lead responsibility for attendance should arrange a medical absence action plan meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to understand the reasons for absence and to examine any medical evidence provided by the parent/s and allow adjustments to be made in school if appropriate or necessary. It may be appropriate to invite your school nurse. If there are genuine health reasons why a pupil cannot regularly attend school, consideration should be given to the best way to support the sick pupil’s education. If the pupil is not attending school at all you will need to consider a referral to the Single Point of Access (SPA) Panel to request Hospital Education & Reintegration Service (HERS). Please see the criteria guidance for schools when referring to HERS.


Where there is no evidence to support absence attributed to illness then the school should follow their normal attendance procedure and if appropriate complete a referral to the A&WSS.




The referral to the A&WSS does not replace the Penalty Notice process.  However, you cannot submit a request for a Penalty notice whilst there is an open referral to AWSS and likewise when submitting a referral if you have submitted a Penalty Notice then you must exclude the period of absence in that Penalty Notice request.  Schools can make a request to the local authority for the consideration to issue a Penalty Notice under the current code of conduct.  Schools must complete the Penalty Notice Request Form and attach supporting documents as evidence.  If the request has not been completed correctly then it will be returned to you for amendments, causing a delay in issue.  To avoid this, the PN request has a checklist for your convenience. 


Penalty Notices best suit: -


  • One off unauthorised absence or early intervention for
  • Holiday in term time
  • Persistent late arrivals
  • Present in a public place during the first 5 days of a suspension or PEX.


A referral for casework resulting in potential prosecution best suits: -


  • Long term, persistent or entrenched absence