Home Page

Minehead First School Making sure school matters to every child

Attendance, Late & Absence Procedures

Absence from school

If your child is away from school for any reason, it is really important that you phone in on the first, and every subsequent day of absence, before 09.30am please.   


You will have noticed that we are now being stricter with our morning routine in the playground with regards to the closing of the gate at 08:50am. The first bell goes at 08:40am which all children know means they need to make their way to their classroom where they will be met by a TA, at 08:50am when the school day officially starts teachers will go to the classroom for registration. The school gate will be locked at 08:50am.


We have made the decision to send all children arriving past 08:50am around to Reception to be registered as late to help combat our persistent lateness which was raised by Ofsted as unacceptable. Please continue to support us by ensuring you arrive in good time in the mornings for your child to enter their class on time. If you are unfortunately late, please ensure that our Reception staff have recorded your child entering the school and a reason for their lateness is given. There cannot be any exceptions even if classes are still filing into the school when you arrive at the gate and we politely ask that you are not assertive towards our staff regarding this.


This new routine has proved successful and we are reducing our persistent lates. We are very appreciative of your support with your child’s attendance and we are confident that when Ofsted return they will see a marked improvement.


We will be phoning the parents of any children who have not been registered first thing in the morning. This is to promote the safety and wellbeing of our children. 

If you wish to request a term time absence for your child please complete the form below and return to the school office.




Amendments to the 2006 regulations were made by the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 and come into force on 1 September 2013.


The amendments make it clear that schools can only grant leave of absence during term time for exceptional circumstances. All reference to a holiday and/or extended leave, including the threshold of ten school days is removed. Any request for leave must be made in writing for the attention of the Headteacher in advance.


There is no formal definition offered for exceptional leave at present by the Department for Education. However, from discussion with the DfE and concerned professional associations it is suggested that exceptional leave may include:


  • Forces staff returning from lengthy active service abroad

  • Police, Fire Service staff being told when they can or cannot take leave

  • If a close family member has a terminal illness and it may be a last chance to be together especially if the family member lived overseas

  • Parents having to work abroad for a fixed, minimum term period


    The West Somerset Academies Trust, in recognition of some local employment practices, have added:

  • Significant year round seasonal employment restrictions (Where NO leave is allowed in any published school holiday)(Evidence must be required to support this)


    Somerset County Council (SCC) supports schools:


  • In expecting parents and carers to make sure that children and young people attend school regularly. Any absence from school will impact on educational achievement, success in later life and longer term health and well being

  • In ensuring the law is upheld. Parents and carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance at school of their child. Schools must explain their stance on term time leave in their attendance policy so parents/carers are clear on expectations and potential consequences, such as any unauthorised absence including taking term time leave not agreed with the school, can result in a Penalty Notice being issued to each parent for each child. Any Penalty Notice unpaid is taken to Magistrates Court as failure to secure the regular attendance of their child. If found guilty of such an offence, they might receive a criminal conviction and a potential fine of up to £1,000.


    SCC cannot override a school’s decision not to authorise any term time leave. There is no right of appeal.


    Taking a child on holiday in term time interrupts the learning of the whole class. Teachers have to spend time helping children catch up when they return. Parents should arrange holidays for the 13 week school holiday periods. Schools are open 190 days which leaves 175 days of the year for a holiday.


    Every day of your child’s education is valuable. We hope that, when you have read this advice, you will consider that your child’s education is too important to take extended absence during term time.