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School Attendance


During the COVID pandemic the office will be open slightly earlier from 8.00am for a period of 30 minutes for any queries, messages and absence reporting. The office staff will be then be outside welcoming children to school. The office will reopen to telephone queries from 9.15am for the remainder of the day til 4pm.


Parents / Carers are requested to telephone the office on 01626 862605 and leave a message on the absence line (option 1) before 8.50am if their child is going to be absent/late. The reason for absence must be in full i.e. sickness on Sunday, temperature, severe cold etc. Please do not leave vague messages i.e. unwell, ill or under the weather as the school office will have to call you back for more information.


As I am sure you are all aware the continuing changing in government guidance with regards to Covid-19 can be quite overwhelming and confusing. As we move into the autumn and winter, both children and adults will pick up more common bugs and this will make it even m‚Äčore of a challenge to distinguish what might be Covid-19 Symptoms and what might be a common cold or a throat infection.


Most people with Coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. If you or your child has one or more of these symptoms you need to self isolate and book a test. Please email confirmation of any tests for our test log.


The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal



Where a child is absent from school and we have not received any verbal or written communication from the parent, then we initiate a first day contact process. Office staff check all class registers between 9.10am and 9.30am on a daily basis, to identify those pupils who are absent. If no message is left with the school office we will telephone in turn each of the contacts on the list provided by the parents, until a contact has been reached to advise why the child is not at school. This is the school’s duty of care and safeguarding for your child.


The registration bell goes at at 8.50am and the class register opens and closes at 9.05am. If you child arrives after the register has started around 8.55/9.00am but before it has closed at 9.05am they will be coded as late (L). If they arrive after 9.05am they will be coded as arriving after the register has closed (U) which is an unauthorised absence.


During the COVID pandemic registration times have changed slightly due to staggered start times and end of day timings.

EYFS - 8.35am - 8.40am (gates open 8.30am and 3.00pm)

Unit 1 - 8.45am - 8.50am (gates open 8.40am and 3.10pm)

Unit 2 - 8.55am - 9.00am (gates open 8.50am and 3.20pm)

Unit 3 - 9.05am - 9.10am (gates open 9.00am and 3.30pm)


The school attendance policy (available to view in Key Information) states that the attendance of children who arrive late will be registered as follows:


*A child arriving after the register has started but before the register has closed will be coded as “late” (code L).


*A child arriving after the register has closed will be coded as “Late after registration closed” (code U). This is counted as an “Unauthorised Absence” (see appendix for use of other codes).


*The times from which children will be marked as “late” or “late after registration closed” will be clearly communicated to parents.


We have a 48 hour rule for any sickness/diarrhoea to try to prevent any outbreaks. Please ensure that if your child has suffered with either of these, they remain absent from school for a clear 48 hour period from the last attack.


Absence requests

If your child needs to be away from school, for any reason, please complete an absence request form (L5) or bring in a copy of the medical appointment letter/card. All holiday requests for children  are unauthorised, unless there are exceptional circumstances and any absence over 10 sessions (5 days) are reported to Devon County Council in accordance with Government guidelines, which may result in a penalty notice.


We always strive for high attendance at Gatehouse Primary Academy and work closely with the Education Welfare officer to raise children's attendance. Please be advised that 6 missed sessions per half term (3 days) would put a child in a persistent absence category and the Education Welfare Officer may become involved.


We are sure you will appreciate that good attendance in school correlates to the educational achievements of children. Official research by the DfE shows, in general, the higher the percentage of sessions missed across the Key Stage, the lower the likely level of attainment at the end of Key Stage 2. In particular, pupils with no absence are 1.6 times more likely to achieve Age Related Expectations or above, and 4.7 times more likely to achieve above Age Related Expectations than pupils that missed 15-20% of all sessions.


Further information can be found by viewing our Pupil Attendance Policy on the First Federation Trust Website.

New - Absence Request Form June 2019