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At Coppetts Wood School, we aim to provide a high quality education in a safe, caring and disciplined environment so that all pupils are able to reach their full potential. An integral part of this is to develop in our pupils positive feelings about education and an awareness of, and responsible attitude to, the value of good attendance and punctuality.

  • Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act states that: “If a child of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, the parent is guilty of an offence".
  • The school is obliged by law to differentiate between authorised and unauthorised absence. A letter or telephone message from a parent does not in itself authorise an absence. Only if the Head Teacher is satisfied as to the validity of the explanation offered by the letter or message will the absence be authorised.

A Guide For Parents

When does my child need to be in school?

From Reception Class to Year 6, your child should be in their classroom by 8.45am.  Registration is closed at 8.55am and taken again at 1.30pm.


What happens if my child is late?

Registration finishes at 8.55am. If your child arrives at school after 8.55am, they will be marked late.  If your child arrives at school after 9.15am, they will be marked as an unauthorised late (which counts as an unauthorised absence for the entire morning session).  Staff will sign their child into school using the school InVentry system if they are late, stating the time that they arrived and the reason they are late.


What should I do if my child is absent?

We expect a parent to call the school, press option 1, on the first day of the child’s absence. You may be required to provide evidence supporting your explanation of the absence before it is authorised and where evidence is insufficient, the absence may still be marked as unauthorised.
If we do not hear from you, we will:

  1. Make a phone call to the main contact number. A text message may also be sent.
  2. If there is no response, we will call emergency contacts to ascertain a reason.
  3. If there is still no response or nobody knows why the child is absent, you may receive a home visit from a member of staff.
  4. We may also seek advice from Children's Social Care or the police as your child will then be classed as ‘a missing child’. The police may carry out a welfare check.

These procedures are to ensure that we know where your child is and that you are all safe. Please inform the School office of any changes in your contact details.

What reasons for absence will the school accept?

  • Genuine illness (not mild colds, coughs or tiredness – if you are in any doubt as to whether you should keep your child off, contact school and we can advise you).
  • Emergency dental / medical appointments (routine appointments should be made out of school hours).
  • Day of religious absence.
  • Family bereavement.
  • Attending an interview for another school.
  • Leave of Absence (only when prior approval has been given by the Head Teacher).

In cases of recurring absences, you will be asked to produce evidence supporting your explanation i.e. GP’s note, hospital appointment card etc. We can also seek permission to contact your doctor directly to prove that you have attended their surgery.


What reasons for absence are not acceptable?

The school will not authorise absence for day trips, birthdays, visiting relatives, tiredness due to a late night, mild colds and coughs etc.


Will the school contact me if my child is absent?

The school operates a First Day Response system. If your child is absent and we have not received a message on the Absence Line from you, we will contact you to establish why. If we do not hear from you, we will follow the procedures outlined above.
If we are concerned about any aspect of your child’s attendance, we will contact you by letter and / or arrange to meet with you in school to discuss how we can resolve the problem. We also work very closely with Barnet’s Education Welfare Team and in cases of persistent absence, they may wish to contact you directly to discuss the problem with you. They have a legal duty to support families with attendance and where there is insufficient progress or cooperation, consider very seriously the use of legal proceedings.


Can we take family holidays during term time?

Family holidays should not be taken during the school term. In exceptional circumstances, a request for special leave of absence during term time may be considered by the Head Teacher. Cheaper air fares or mistaking the dates of the school holidays are not acceptable reasons for booking a holiday during term time. The Head Teacher will also examine the child’s attendance record and any other significant factors when deciding whether to grant a leave of absence.
If you take your child on holiday without permission from the Head Teacher or if your child leaves earlier or returns to school later than was stated on the application form, you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice from the Education Welfare Team.

To request absence for your child, you will need to complete a Leave of absence form, and we will get in touch with you. 

What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?

Make sure that your child is getting adequate sleep and is getting up in plenty of time each morning. Show your child, by your support and interest, that you value his / her education.

Attendance Monitoring Procedures for Under 5s (EYFS Nursery & some children in Reception)

Attendance for non-statutory school age children (under 5s) is not compulsory and the Local Authority will not undertake legal proceedings where there are high levels of absence. However, we do have a duty of care to ensure that children are safe and when a child is absent, we need to ascertain a reason for this and will follow the same procedure for all children attending Coppetts Wood. Primary School. It will also encourage parents to develop positive routines relating to attendance and reporting absences when children become of statutory school age.

If a child of non-statutory school age is absent for a period of 2 weeks, regardless of whether this has been authorised, the Admissions team must be notified. 


If you have any concerns about any aspect of your child’s attendance, please do not hesitate to contact us and we can discuss together how best to support you and your child.