Lady Joanna Thornhill (Endowed) Primary School

Learning for the Head, Heart and Hand

Lateness and Absence

It is a legal requirement that we report on children's attendance at school.   If we don't know why your child is not at school, your child will get an unauthorised absence mark. But, more importantly, we want to know that your child is safely accounted for.



If your child arrives late to school they must be signed in at school reception.  Please do not go straight to class without signing in as once the registers have closed your child will be unaccounted for in the event of an emergency. We also need to register whether your child will be having a packed lunch or school dinner.  If your child arrives after 8:45 they will be marked as late, but if they arrive after 9am, it will count as an unauthorised absence.  If there is a reason why your child is going to be late for school, we would appreciate you telephoning ahead to advise what time you think they will arrive.



If your child is going to be absent from school due to sickness you do need to let us know by no later than 9am on each day your child is going to be absent.


If your child is unwell, or if there is a reason why your child cannot attend school one day, please either telephone on 01233 812781 or email the school at, by no later than 9am each morning your child(ren) will be absent, otherwise an unauthorised absence may be recorded.


The school is legally required to record a variety of different types of absence for each child; also we are obliged to record unauthorised absences and late arrivals.



We do understand that there are occasions where it may be necessary to take your child out of school for certain appointments, i.e Hospital, medical assessments, SLT, Orthodontist, emergency gp appointment, where it is difficult to change the appointment given. However we do ask that you avoid taking your child out for routine dental, optician, and gp appointments. Taking your child out of school during the school day can be detrimental to their attainment and progress and disruptive to the whole class. There are 13 weeks of holidays, weekends and time after school for such appointments to be made.


If an appointment is unavoidable during school time, please fill out the Absence for appointment form, see above or collect a form from the school office. You will need to give as much notice as possible and, if it will affect the lunch period - please let the school office know whether your child requires a school meal.




Until September 2013 the regulations allowed Headteachers to ‘grant’ leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in ‘special circumstances’ of up to ten days leave per year. This has been changed with Headteachers no longer able to grant any leave of absence during school time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. Our school policy on granting such absences will now have to reflect this change.


Any requests for any leave of absence will ONLY be granted in accordance with the amended legislation. Such requests will have to demonstrate why ‘exceptional circumstances’ apply. My apologies for this change in policy a national initiative not a school one. Our attendance levels at Lady Joanna have always been exceptionally high, with parents understanding the importance of regular attendance and its impact upon their child’s learning.


If you have any queries regarding this change in policy, or your particular circumstances regarding a leave of absence from school, please contact the school for advice.


For more information click on the link Education Regulations Amendments 2013 – Absence from School


For any absence requests, you will need to fill out an Absence Request Form, either see above or collect from the school office.  Please  return to the school either via email to or  to the school office and give as much notice as possible.