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Is my child too ill for school?

It can be tricky deciding whether or not to keep your child off school when they're unwell.

But there are government guidelines for schools that say when children should be kept off school and when they shouldn't.

If you do keep your child at home, it's important to phone the school on the first day. Let them know that they won't be in and give them the reason.

If your child is well enough to go to school but has an infection that could be passed on, such as a cold sore or head lice, let their teacher know.

We require all children at Durrington Infants to have the best possible attendance to enable them to reach their full potential. Equally, parents/carers have a duty to make sure that their children attend school regularly and on time. All of the staff at Durrington Infants are committed to working closely with parents/carers as the best way to ensure the highest possible levels of attendance. Communication between home and school is vital if we are to achieve this and maintain accurate, up to date attendance records for our students.

As a school we would appreciate your support in the following ways:

  • Telephone the school before 8.30am to tell us why your child is absent and when you expect them to return, with a letter to explain absence.
  • Keep in regular contact with the school if they are likely to be absent for a period of time.
  • Only allow your child to stay at home for genuine illness.  (We follow Public Health England’s guidance.)
  • Ensure your child arrives in good time and prepared to start the school day by 8.40am.
  • Avoid booking non-urgent medical appointments during the school day.
  • Ensure you sign your child in and out of school for any authorised appointments they need to attend.
  • If you have any concerns or need to talk to us about your child please contact us so we can support you and your child and resolve any issues.
  • Always praise good attendance and punctuality.

Leave of Absence Requests

Please note, we are unable to authorise absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Any request for leave of absence MUST be submitted prior to any request on the Durrington Infant School ‘Leave of Absence’ form.  This can be obtained from the school office.  Absence will not be authorised, even in exceptional circumstances, if your child’s absence falls below 96%.

Penalty Notice

Please read the Wiltshire Council Local Authority leaflet which is on our website explaining Penalty Notices issued for unauthorised Leave of Absence during term time. Copies are available at reception or click here to download a copy. If you have any questions or require further information regarding this please contact Miss Gillott, our designated member of staff for attendance.

Click here to read the guidance about penalty notices for unauthorised absence during term time.

What we do to manage attendance

If you miss 3.5 days of school each half term over your school life you will miss a staggering 1.5 years of education.

Attendance at Durrington Infants is checked on a monthly basis by the principal and a member of the Academy Advisory Board. The school’s attendance figures are reported to the Trust Board three times a year and are monitored by our external school improvement partner. Children showing persistent absenteeism (more than 10%) are highlighted and their absence is monitored more closely on a weekly basis. 

As a school, once highlighted we

  • Send letters home when triggers are hit, in line with the Education Welfare Officer’s flow chart;
  • Ensure class teachers monitor absence through Pupil Progress Meetings and take responsibility, praising pupils for being in;
  • Speak with parents and encourage them to bring children in if we feel they are well enough;
  • Encourage medical appointments to be held out of school hours, or in the afternoon if at all possible;
  • Invite parents to a School Attendance meeting, if necessary;
  • Involve the Education Welfare Officer, Wiltshire Safeguarding Hub or Police Community Support Officer if persistent absence continues.

Good Attendance Means being in school at least 95% of the time (between 180 and 190 days)