Attendance / Absence Procedures

School Attendance

Parents of compulsory school age (five to sixteen) have a legal duty to ensure their children receive suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise than at a school. If a child is registered at a school, parents have the legal responsibility for ensuring that their child attends regularly.  All maintained schools must meet for the purpose to educate their pupils for at least 190 days (380 half days) in each school year.


We encourage regular attendance in the following ways:

  • Providing a caring and welcoming learning environment
  • Responding promptly to a child's or parent's concerns about the school or other pupils
  • Publishing and displaying attendance statistics
  • Celebrating good and improved attendance
We expect that you will:
  • ALWAYS encourage regular school attendance and be aware of your legal responsibilities
  • ALWAYS ensure that your child arrives at school punctually and fully prepared for the school day
  • Ensure that you contact the school whenever your child is unwell and unable to attend school
  • Contact the school by 9.00 am on the first day of the child's absence and telephone every day thereafter unless your child has a doctor's certificate
  • Contact us promptly whenever any problem occurs that may keep your child away from school


All schools follow Department of Education guidance with regard to school attendance.  Their expectations are very clear, Headteachers should only authorise leave of absence in exceptional circumstances.  Leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.  This means family holidays taken in term time will be coded as 'unauthorised'.


If is is necessary for your child to be absent from school during term time, you must complete the application below and the Headteacher and Governors will decide whether to authorise the absence having considered the following:

  • Your child's record of attendance, which must be 95% or above
  • If leave is granted, it shall not exceed 5 days in any one year
  • The time of the leave, ensuring that it would not prevent the child from missing any important school events

Please follow these guidelines from the DCSF and the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Health Protection Unit if your child becomes unwell: 

Single case of diarrhoea and/or vomiting

“…Please exclude from school until your child has been free of vomiting and/or diarrhoea for forty-eight hours after resuming a normal diet.”


At Otterham School, we take safeguarding of the children who attend, as our highest priority. In order that we ensure children are safe at all times, we will follow the following procedure if we are not contacted regarding a child's absence from the school:


  1. If a child is absent at 9.10 am when the register closes and no contact regarding child's absence has been made,  school will ring the home number on the pupil contact card to enquire about why the child may be absent.
  2. In the event of this not getting a response or no one is at home, the school will phone a second number on the contact card, often a mum or dad, to enquire about why the child may be absent and leave a message.
  3. If by 9.15am, no reason for the child’s absence can be clarified, the school will ring the emergency contact number on the contact card to make enquiries.
  4. If by 9.20am, no reason has been established why a child is absent, the school will phone County support lines for advice and to make them aware of the situation. 


Please note, it is the responsibility of parents and carers to notify school of a child being absent BEFORE 8.50am when the school day begins. This is an essential measure we take to ensure the safety of all children.