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Watlington Community Primary School

Attendance & Holidays

The school is open from 8:45am - 3:15pm, this equates to 32.5 hours per week. The school gate is open from 8.40am. 

Late attendance (after 9.15am) is regarded as an unauthorised absence and will be recorded as such. The government records that any attendance below 90% is classed as ‘persistent absence.’ Parents are reminded that unauthorised absence of 15% or 10 consecutive sessions, within a 6-week period, including holiday, may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice as guided by DfE policy.  

We all know that good school attendance has a positive impact on a pupils’ learning, we strive for all pupils to attend school every day.  We understand that children may be unwell and require time off occasionally. Please see below guidance for advice on time off for common infectious diseases.  If this happens, please ensure that you call by 8.30am on every day of absence and leave a message that clearly states:

  • Child’s name
  • Class
  • Reason for absence (if illness please specify the nature of the illness)

You may, if you prefer, email this information using the email: or send a DoJo message to the class teacher. 

If the school does not have a reason for a child’s absence we will call home to confirm a reason. If we are unable to confirm the reason for absence we will log the absence as unauthorised. Please note, if any pupil is absent without an explanation for 10 consecutive days we are obliged to notify the Local Authority.   Accumulation of 10 unauthorised absences (equal to five days) in a six-week period, will result in a fixed penalty notice. 

Requests for leave of absence should be made through the school office.  The Headteacher may only authorise absence for exceptional circumstances, this list of 'exceptional circumstances' is limited. 

To help your child get the most from school, please avoid taking holiday during term time. Holidays will not be considered exceptional circumstances, more information on attendance and fixed penalty notices can be found below.

Please let us know if you require any support or wish to discuss your child’s attendance.

For other advice regarding children's health, please see the following article from UK Health Security Agency. 

For health advice -

From August 2024, the fine for a fixed penalty notice will increase. The fine for school absences across the country will be £80 if paid within 21 days, or £160 if paid within 28 days. Please see attached file below.