Return to Parents


At Bishop Wood School we aim to encourage excellent levels of attendance and punctuality to enable all pupils to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.

Please help us to help you.  If you are worried about your child’s school attendance, then staff are available at school and within the local authority who can help support you.  Gaps in education can mean your child will not reach their full potential.

School Times: 8.55am to 3.30pm

The gates open at 8.35am. Children should make their way directly to their classroom. Children are not allowed on the premises before this time unless they are attending a supervised activity.


Registers are called at 8.55am and 1.20pm.  Morning registers close at 9.00am and afternoon registers close at 1.30pm.

Any pupil arriving after closure of register and who fails to provide a satisfactory explanation will be recorded as ‘unauthorised absent’ for that session.

Registers are marked in accordance with Department for Education guidance full details of which are in the school Attendance Policy and Attendance Policy Supplement.


Any pupil arriving after 9.00am MUST report to the school office and sign in using the Inventry system. They will be marked present, but late, on the computerised register system.

The School will monitor the registers for lateness and may contact parents where there is continued, unresolved lateness.   If lateness becomes regular or significant the school will follow up with the parents and carers to see if support can be offered.


Notification must be provided for all absences from school.   Parents should contact the school by 8.35am on the first and subsequent days of any absence, and inform us of the reason for their child’s absence. The absence must be reported using the absence line 01442 822024 (Option 1) – please do not email.

If there is any doubt about the whereabouts of a child the school will contact the parent or guardian straight away in order to check on the safety of the child.


For safeguarding reasons, please could you telephone the school and leave a message on the absence line (01442 822024 Option 1) before 8.35am if your child is going to be unexpectedly absent for any reason.

Please leave the following details: the child’s name, class, the reason for their absence and the date you expect them to return to school.

If they are ill, then please could you detail specific symptoms rather than using the phrases ‘under the weather’ and ‘unwell’ as we need to track patterns in classes.

If we do not hear from you using the above method we will send a text. If you do not respond to the text by 10am, your child will be classed as ‘missing’ and we will have to contact the police to request a welfare check on the child.

When a child is absent due to sickness or diarrhoea they must remain at home for 48 hours following the illness.

Absence for other reasons:  If you are aware in advance that your child is going to be absent from school, for music or dance exams, medical appointments etc, please notify the school office by email giving at least 48 hours notice.  The office will inform the class teacher. Please do not tell the class teacher directly.

Medical Appointments

Appointments for routine medical/dental purposes should be made outside of school hours.

We do understand that emergency appointments and hospital appointments may be required in school hours, but ask that your child attends school either side of the appointment to minimise disruption to their school attendance.

Children should attend school unless they have a major illness.

We will always contact you should your child become ill during the school day.

Unauthorised Absence

An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without permission of both the school and a parent.  Therefore, the absence is unauthorised if a child is away from school without good reason, even with the support of a parent.

Headteachers no longer have the discretion to allow time off school for family holidays, including extended leave for parents to visit their country of origin.  All holidays during term time will be unauthorised unless there are exceptional compassionate circumstances.

If parents still plan to withdraw a child during term time they must complete a ‘Notification of Unauthorised Holiday’ form (please see above, and also available from the school office). This must be sent to the school office no less than 3 weeks before the intended start date of the holiday.

Following up Absence

The school follows up all absences from school.

The school monitors the registers each week and will contact parents where there is a high percentage of unexplained absence or a continued, unresolved issue with attendance.   At Bishop Wood School we work with parents and ask that they work with us to address any attendance problems.

All schools receive visits from an Attendance Improvement Officer (AIO) who inspects registers and ensures that action is carried out to address persistent lateness and absence.   The governors and the Local Authority reserve the right to consider taking legal action against any parents or guardians who repeatedly fail to accept their responsibility for sending their children to school on a regular basis.

Fixed Penalty Notices – If a pupil has at least 21 sessions (half day = 1 session) unauthorised absence within two consecutive terms (including unauthorised holidays) the Headteacher and Governing Body have the right to consider asking the Local Authority (LA) to issue a penalty Notice.  The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. If the penalty is not paid the LA may prosecute the parents for their child’s irregular attendance.

Publication of Information

Parents, pupils, staff and governors are informed of whole school attendance issues and statistics on a regular basis.   The school shares information on individual pupils’ attendance as necessary with their parents, staff and governors.

Ofsted targets for attendance are:
99%-100% Outstanding
96%-98% Good
94%-95% Satisfactory
85%-93% Poor
Less than 85% Persistent Absence