Shaftesbury Junior School

We care, we share, for the future we prepare

Late/Absence Procedures



We love school, we love learning and we want your child to do the best that they can.  Amazing things happen when they attend school every day and that is what we want every parent and child to strive for.  Here's the legal bit:


Parents and carers are required by law to ensure that children of compulsory school age receive efficient full time education.  This means that you are responsible for ensuring that your child attends school regularly.  Regular attendance at school is important so that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.


We have to keep accurate daily registers of each pupil’s attendance by law.  If your child is away from school, the absence can be “authorised” or “unauthorised” and the school will decide whether the reason for absence is acceptable.


  • We expect you to tell us if your child is not going to be in school and the reason for the absence as soon as possible, preferably before 10.00am by telephone or email. We have an automated answering service to leave messages concerning absentees. Please do not ask your child to explain.


  • We do operate a first day response.  If we have not heard from you by 10.00am you will be contacted to ask why your child is not in school.  If we have no valid reason for absence then we have to register it as “unauthorised”.


  • Medical appointments (doctor, dentist, hospital or optician) should be made during the holidays or after the end of the school day.   We do realise that sometimes this is not possible but we do need to see the appointment card so details can be noted. Absences regular and/or prolonged may result in medical evidence being required.  A decision will be made as to whether it being authorised or unauthorised.         


  • Holidays should not be taken during term time and will not be authorised. Please note, from 19th August 2024, new regulations come into force regarding unauthorised leave of absence from school. For unauthorised absence from August 2024, Penalty Notices will increase to £160 per parent per child (discounted to £80 if paid within 21 days).  If there is occasion to issue a second Penalty Notice for unauthorised leave of absence within a rolling 3 year period, it will be issued at the higher rate of £160 per parent per child, with no opportunity to pay at the lower level.  A Penalty Notice cannot be issued if there is a third occasion of unauthorised leave of absence in the rolling 3 year period and it is highly likely that the local authority will take direct prosecution action in the Magistrates’ Court which can result in you receiving a criminal conviction.  Please also be aware that any cases of extended periods of unauthorised absence, linked to holidays or trips away, are highly likely to result in prosecution action by the local authority. If your child has unauthorised leave of absence prior to the end of the summer term in 2024, you will either be issued with a Penalty Notice of £120 per parent per child (discounted to £60 if paid within 21 days), or, your case will be referred by the Local Authority directly to the Magistrates’ Court.


  • If your child is having problems with coming to school, or with other children in school or class work, please come in and talk to the Headteacher. It is important that you let the school know as early as possible rather than let your child miss school.





Please ensure that your child is on time for school, as late children can disrupt the start of the school day. The school days starts at 8.40am with registration at 8.50am. The school day finishes at 3.05pm and the school gates will close at 3.15pm.

Children who are regularly late or absent from school can find it hard to keep up with their work and may struggle to build friendships, so it is important that they come to school every day and on time.