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At Yatton Schools we believe that good attendance is important for a pupil to have the best chance to attain well and make the best possible progress. We know that for children to gain the greatest benefit from their education, they need to attend school regularly and every day the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is absolutely unavoidable. Those pupils with good attendance tend to make better progress, both academically and socially; regular absence can lead to a considerable amount of lost learning and may seriously affect a child’s progress. Poor attendance can also sometimes affect a child’s social and emotional development, including the maintaining of friendships.

We monitor attendance levels of all pupils regularly. If your child’s absence rate becomes a concern, we will contact you to remind you of the importance of good attendance; we may wish to discuss with you ways we can reduce absences and see if there is anything we can do to help. We do acknowledge that each family’s circumstances are different and that there are often very valid reasons for a child’s absence – of course, there are clearly times when a child is so poorly they should not be in school. We are just asking you to consider carefully whether your child really needs to be off school and support us in valuing good attendance. We always explore ways to work with parents/carers to encourage good attendance; however, if attendance continues to be a concern, the Education Welfare Officer may become involved and further steps taken to ensure appropriate levels of attendance are achieved.

These processes are explained in more depth in the Attendance Policy adopted by LSP schools which is on the Policies and Key Document page.

If you have any concerns or need support with attendance issues please speak to your child’s class teacher or to Mr Heywood who oversees attendance in the schools.

Informing us of a child’s absence

If a child is going to be absent, parents/carers must contact the school office by 9.30am at the latest on the day of absence, explaining the clear, specific reasons for the absence. A message can be left on the school answerphone or emailed to It is very important that we are made aware of why a child is absent so that we know they are safe.


Arriving late is really unsettling for children – it can also be highly disruptive to their learning  and to the rest of the class. Please help your child to have a great start to the day by arriving on time for registration in the morning, ready to learn.  Often, important information is shared at the beginning of the school day, which when missed may cause difficulties for the child in trying to catch up. In line with our attendance policy we closely monitor punctuality.
We would like to remind you that in the Junior School the classroom doors are opened at 8:50 ready for registration. In the Infant School, the doors are opened at 8:55 ready for registration. Please note that the gates are locked at 9:05 a.m. Any children arriving later than this will need to come through the main school entrance.

If children arrive after registration they will be marked as 'late'.

Please note that the registers are closed 45 minutes after they open - any children arriving after this time will be marked as an unauthorised absence for the morning session.

 Holidays in term time

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the Department for Education has made it clear that young people need to be in school every day. Under the Education Act 1996, it is your duty as the parent or carer to ensure your child’s regular attendance at school.  This means that your child must be in attendance every time the school is open, unless he/she is prevented from doing so by reason of illness or any unavoidable cause.

It is important to remind you that Headteachers cannot authorise any holiday in term time unless there are truly EXCEPTIONAL circumstances.  

In a letter from Gary Lewis (CEO of Lighthouse Schools) to parents last year regarding attendance and term holidays in particular, he stated: 

‘The law on this is now very clear and has been tested in the courts: such absences should only be granted in very exceptional circumstances and a family holiday does not constitute such an exception.  Our Trust policy is in line with the September 2018 statutory guidance to schools and we have reduced the Headteachers’ discretion so that in almost all cases a request for a holiday in term time will have to be refused and if the unauthorised holiday is for 10 or more sessions (i.e. 5 or more full days) it will incur a Penalty Notice.  Our Headteachers will use their discretion to consider non-holiday requests for leave where exceptional circumstances exist.’

Exceptional circumstances could include a family member being seriously or terminally ill, a death or significant trauma in the family where it is deemed that a holiday may help the child cope with the situation.  Holidays which are taken for the following reasons, for example, cannot be authorised:

  • parental work commitments;
  • family gatherings;
  • relatives visiting;
  • cheaper holidays in England and abroad;
  • family day trips;
  • visiting friends/family that have different half terms or holidays;
  • because a child has good attendance;
  • employment restrictions during the summer holiday.

Penalty Notices

For a period of time, we had been able to be more sympathetic towards term-time absences due to holidays being re-arranged because of Covid restrictions. This has meant there have been some instances when a penalty notice has not been applied for when it normally would have been. We need to let you know that this has now ended and expectations are back to normal. So requests we receive for term time holidays, for 5 days or more, will result in penalty notices being applied for, as stated on the LSP Attendance Policy:

Where there are 10 or more sessions of unauthorised absence, this will result in the request for a Penalty Notice – a week of absence [5 days] is 10 sessions.

Other unauthorised absence amounting to 10 or more sessions within a 6 month period will also result in the request for a Penalty Notice, as outlined in the Local Authority Penalty Notice Code of Conduct.

If a student has been absent and the reason has been reported as illness but the school has reason to believe this not to be the case and the student is actually attending a family holiday, evidence of illness may be required.  If illness cannot be proved, the school will take action by way of a Penalty Notice.

Your support in not taking children out of school in term time is greatly appreciated. 


If you are taking your child for a term time absence this year you will need to fill in the form attached  below or pick up a paper copy from the office.