Whole School Attendance Target – 97%

At Doddiscombsleigh Primary School, we aim to ensure that all children receive an education that maximises opportunities for each pupil to reach their full potential.  In order to achieve this, we work hard to provide a welcoming and caring learning environment where every member of the school community feels valued.

Every School Day Counts!

In order for our pupils to achieve their very best it is importance that their attendance is good. Every lesson really does count for your child and catching up on lost time from school can be really difficult. Good attendance is linked to increased achievement, positive relationships with other children, and improved learning behaviours.

If your child is unwell

We recognise and understand that children do become ill and this may result in them being unable to attend school for a period of time. We ask that parents make the school office aware of any absences by 9:30am for every day that your child is absent. You can if you wish leave a message stating your child’s name, class and the reason for their absence.


If your child has a sickness/diarrhoea bugwe ask that parents keep them off school for 48 hours after their last episode of sickness but still inform us daily that they will not be in.


If your child has an illness that may be contagious, we ask that parents follow the doctors’ instructions regarding absence from school. Please keep the school informed about this, as detailed above. There are also some links to useful information pages, below.


The school can administer prescribed medication if parents have completed the correct permissions form. The form can be found at the main school office.


If your child has a cold or is feeling a little unwell, we encourage parents to bring them to school. Teachers are very vigilant and the school will contact parents if your child’s symptoms worsen or we feel they become too unwell to remain in school.


The office team are able to support parents with any queries regarding absences due to illness.


Please also check the NHS Guide ‘Should I keep my child off school?’ A link can be found here.



It is important that the children arrive at school on time, ready and willing to learn. The gates open at 8:50am and all children are expected to be in their classrooms by 8:55am for registration, with the gates being closed at 9:00am. Any child who arrives after the gates are locked needs to be signed in at the main school reception.

Being late for school reduces learning time and can be highly disruptive and harmful to a child’s self-esteem. Children can often feel embarrassed and/or upset at entering a busy classroom after everyone else; missing the initial morning instructions can mean that individuals are playing ‘catch-up’ for the rest of the morning.

If your child is 5 minutes late every day, they will miss 3 days of learning a year.

If they are 15 minutes late every day, they will miss 2 weeks of learning each year.

Please also note that if your child arrives after the school register closes at 9.30, this will be marked as an unauthorised absence.

Holiday in term time

In order to ensure that the pupils at Doddiscombsleigh Primary School receive a high-quality education, holidays during term time will not be authorised.  Any exceptional circumstances should be put into writing to the Head of School and an individual decision will be made. Unauthorised absences can result in the parents being fined (further information can be found on the Attendance policy on the website here). The Local Authority may also decide to take parents to court if they take their child out of school without authorisation.


What communication can parents expect from school?

School will contact parents throughout the year regarding attendance. As we have a duty of care to inform parents about attendance, we will write to parents if and when attendance falls below a certain point. For most parents this will be to share information about current attendance so that they are informed and get support to maintain positive attendance. Some parents may be invited into school to discuss their child’s attendance and how the school can support to help attendance improve and move forward as a school-parent partnership.


At the start of each academic year, and school term

Parents will receive a letter reminding them about their legal responsibility regarding term time holidays and the school’s responsibility to share information about term time holidays with Devon County Council. Parents will also receive a termly update about their child’s attendance rate for their information.


If attendance falls below 95%

If a child’s attendance falls below 95%, parents will receive an initial letter outlining the concerns about attendance.


If, after the first concern letter, attendance is not improving

If, after the first concern letter, your child’s attendance continues to fall, parents will receive a second communication which invites parents to meet with a school representative to discuss how we can work together to improve the child’s attendance. This meeting will outline clear actions to improve attendance together. The Education Welfare Officer (EWO) may be involved at this point or the School Nurse may be invited to support if appropriate. This is a collaborative process between school and home so that we can ensure the best possible outcomes for your child.

What can parents do to help attendance?
  • If your child is unwell, phone and report this in to the office by 9:30am at the latest.
  • If you suspect that your child is a reluctant attender or is unhappy at school, do not keep them at home. Contact the school as soon as possible so that any difficulties can be resolved.
  • Make sure your child arrives to school on time and is prepared for the day ahead (e.g. that they have the correct school uniform, homework, P.E. kit, swimming kit, etc).
  • Take an interest in your child’s education. Ask them about their day and praise and encourage their achievements at school. If the children can see that you value education, they will too.
  • Attend any meetings that you are invited to regarding attendance.
  • Make medical/dental appointments out of school hours or during the school holidays wherever possible.


What can Doddiscombsleigh Primary School do to support attendance rates?
  • Monitoring of attendance and consultation with parents is ongoing throughout the school year.
  • Attendance is closely monitored and parents will be contacted regularly if there are any concerns.
  • Parents may be asked to an attendance meeting to identify if any support can be offered to the family reduce school absence.
  • All unexplained absences are followed up within the morning session as part of our safeguarding practices.


Other useful information
  • Our Attendance policy can be found in the policies section on our school website here.
  • Absence Request Forms (S2) can be found here.
  • NHS information about common childhood illnesses can be found here.
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