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Widden Primary School


What are the times of the school day?

8:30am School gate opens
8:35am Classroom door opens
8:45am School bell rings
8:50am Classroom door closes
9.00am Registers closed
3:15pm School ends


What happens if my child is late to school?

Any pupils who arrive after 8:50am should enter the school through the main entrance.

If a child arrives after the gates are locked, they will receive an 'L' code up until 9:30am. If a child arrives after 9:30am, they will receive a 'U' code. This is considered an unauthorised absence.

The school may consider referring to Gloucestershire County Council for legal action if there are a series of unauthorised late marks and parents fail to engage with guidance and support. 

How do I report my child's absence?

We expect parents to notify the school every morning of absence by 9:15am either by phone (01452 520571) or email ( 

If we do not receive an explanation, or the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence.

Do all parents, partners and carers have a legal responsibility to secure a child's education? 

 Yes, all adults, parents and carers have a legal responsibility including absent parents.

   DEFINITION OF A PARENT Section 576 of the Education Act 1996 defines 'parent' as

  • All natural parents, whether they are married or not  
  • Any person who, although not a natural parent, has parental responsibility for a child or young person  
  • Any person who, although not a natural parent, has care of a child or young person (having care of a child or young person means that a person with whom the child lives and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, is considered to be a parent in education law).

  An accumulation of unauthorised absences will lead to a referral to Gloucestershire Council which may result in legal proceedings. From September 2024 there will be a new penalty framework for absence from school - please see the document below.

What reasons will the school accept for absences?

  • Illness. However persistent illness without medical evidence will not be authorised: Parents will be expected to provide evidence, so school are able to consider if the absence is to be authorised or unauthorised. Medical evidence can be provided by proof of GP appointment, proof of prescribed medication or a letter from the GP stating that they were required to be absent from school.
  • Emergency dental/medical appointment. (Please make routine appointments after school or during the holidays), appointment cards will be required.

What is unacceptable?

The school will not authorise absences other than those in exceptional circumstances.

  • Family holidays
  • Day trips
  • Shopping
  • Birthdays

The above are not classed as exceptional.

10 missed sessions are equivalent to 5 days of absence.

Poor attendance has a serious impact on a child's education and life chances.

Can we take family holidays during term time?

Family holidays should only be taken during school holidays.

Children moving schools

It is important to communicate with school should you wish to transfer your child to a different school. When pupils leave the school and no information has been received by the school regarding their new placement and parents/carers are unable to be contacted, the school has a duty of care regarding safeguarding and must contact the Local Authority.  The child will be classed as ‘Children who are absent from education for prolonged periods and/or repeated occasions’.  This means that Gloucestershire County Council has a legal duty to investigate, which will include liaising with Social Services, the Police and other agencies, to try to track and locate the child. By giving the school details of the child’s new school and location, unnecessary investigations can be avoided.

If your child has an EHCP and you wish to move schools, please speak to the SENDCo, Miss Newbury.

Important contact information 

It is important that parent/carers keep school updated with all new contact details of change of address and landline or mobile telephone numbers. If you start a new job and have a work contact number, please let us know immediately. This is to ensure we can contact you in an emergency.

What happens if I am late collecting my child?

The School expects prompt collection of all children at the end of the school day: 3.15pm. 

 We would ask parents running late to advise school as soon as possible by phoning 01452 520571. 

Pupils who remain uncollected after 3.15pm will be supervised by a member of staff. The Safeguarding Lead closely monitors late collections.

After 3:45pm, children will be admitted into the After-School Club whilst their parents are contacted to collect them. The parent / carer will incur a £5.00 non-booking fee per child in addition to the session charge.  If this persistently happens, the Safeguarding Lead will initially meet with you to discuss this.  If no improvement is seen, this may result in a charge for child care.