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Orchard Primary

& Pre-School

School Logo

Contact Details

School Logo

Orchard Primary & Pre-School

"Small enough to care, Big enough to inspire"

Attendance Information

At Orchard Primary School we want all pupils to aim for 100% attendance and expect pupils to be in school every day that school is open, unless they are too unwell to attend. This is really important so we can give your child the best education we can, and the education that they are entitled to.

Why is attending school regularly so important?

Excellent attendance is important for pupils to feel part of the school community, maintain friendships and develop a sense of belonging. This supports each pupil’s all-round development, mental health and wellbeing.

What are my responsibilities as a parent/carer?

As a parent/carer, you are legally responsible for making sure your child gets a suitable full-time education, usually from the age of 5 - 16 years old


For most parents/carers this will mean making sure your child is in school every day except when:

  • They are too ill to go to school.
  • You have permission for a leave of absence from the Head Teacher for your child not to attend. You should only ask for this in exceptional circumstances.

What if my child is too unwell to attend school?

Details about exclusion periods for infectious diseases are available from the school office or on the school website under the Parent Tab – Is my child too ill for school?


If you think that your child is too unwell to attend school, you must contact the school office by 8.40am on the first day of absence to let us know why your child is not in school. Alternatively, you can leave a message on the 24-hour answerphone (01386 552515) or email It is important that you let us know each day that your child is going to be absent from school.


If we do not hear from you, and are unable to contact you by phone, you may receive a home visit from a member of staff as we have a duty to ensure your child is safe.

Request for Time Off in Term Time

The law does not grant parents the automatic right to take a child out of school during term-time for any reason, including a holiday. Only in very exceptional circumstances will absence requests be authorised.


Each case will be considered individually and on its own merit. It is the responsibility of parents/carers to contact the school in writing when requesting any leave of absence for their child so that each case can be considered on an individual basis. The following situations might be considered examples of “exceptional circumstances”:


  • Return of parent from active service (Forces).
  • Death or serious illness of a close relative.
  • Young carers.
  • Disability or respite leave.
  • Periods of obligatory religious observance.
  • Approved public performance (with clear supporting evidence).

Unauthorised Absence

An absence will be unauthorised if your child is absent from school without the permission of the school. Whilst as parents you can provide explanation for absence, it remains the school’s decision whether to authorise an absence or not. Unauthorised absences may include:


  • Absences which have never been properly explained.
  • Pupils who arrive at school too late to get a mark.
  • Absences for shopping trips, birthdays, day trips, errands.
  • Long weekends and holidays in term time (unless in very exceptional circumstances agreed in advance by the school).
  • A pupil is kept away from school longer than has been agreed – any additional absence will be unauthorised.


Parents should be aware that if they take children out of school when it has not been authorised, they may be subject to a Penalty Notice or prosecution.


The school gates open at 8.35am and the register is taken in each classroom at 8.45am - all children are expected to be in their classroom at this time.


We appreciate that there may be an occasional day when you are unavoidably late, however it is important to remember that pupils who arrive late are not only losing learning time but are also disrupting the learning of others as they arrive late for lessons. They may also miss important information given out at the start of the school day. Establishing good habits from the start will help your child to settle more quickly and build good habits for life.


If you arrive late at school, please bring your child to the Reception office and sign your child into school.

Medical and Other Appointments

To avoid disruption to your child’s attendance, we ask parents to make all appointments for medical and dental check-ups outside of the school day. If this is not possible, please give as much notice as possible and give a copy of your appointment card/letter to the school office. Please collect your child from school as close to the time of the appointment as possible and return them to school for the rest of the school day afterwards.


The government expects that, in order for a child to reach their full potential, they must attend school for a minimum of 95% of the time.


If attendance over the school year is:

…a pupil will miss this many days:

…and this many lessons:






















Support for School Attendance

There may be occasions when your child does not want to attend school. We encourage parents and pupils to be open and honest with us about the reasons for absence; it is never better to cover up an absence or give in to pressure to let your child stay at home. This can give the impression to your child that attendance does not matter and can make things worse. As a school, we need to understand the reasons why your child may not want to attend so we can support you both in the best way possible.


If we are unable to work in partnership with you as parents, we may refer to the Local Authority. We will only do this if everything else has failed. We hope you as parents will work with us to best support your child so this does not need to happen.


Pupils with medical conditions, or other circumstances that may at times prevent regular attendance, will be fully supported to be able to attend as much as possible. We will use an Individual Health Care Plan and will work alongside other professionals, such as health colleagues, and yourselves to best support this.


If we have any safeguarding concerns about a pupil who is absent, we will share information with other agencies as we deem necessary to ensure a child’s safety and wellbeing.

Who can I speak to?

If you have any concerns about your child’s attendance, please speak to Mrs Bitcon (Head Teacher), Mrs White (SENDCO) or Mrs Swoosh (Pastoral Care Support Worker).