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Good attendance at school is possibly the most fundamental requirement for a successful education.

The school expects students to attend school regularly as there is a clear link between good attendance and high achievement.

The school operates a computerised registration system which enables staff to track and monitor attendance regularly and efficiently. Parents are asked to inform the school on the first day of an absence by telephone. Any absence which is not accounted for will be categorised as being unauthorised. A member of staff will phone home on the morning of the first day of any absence if we have not been informed of the absence by 9.00am.

The taking of holidays during term time is actively discouraged and will be categorised as an unauthorised absence, as will any other avoidable absence.

The school works closely with the Education Support Behaviour and Attendance Service (ESBAS) in supporting good attendance habits.

Mrs Di James - Attendance Manager
Mrs Nadene Townsend-Smith - Assistant Headteacher

Willingdon School Attendance Policy - Download 

Attendance Procedure 

Punctuality Procedure 

Report Student Absence

Contact the school on each day of absence via your EduLink account, giving an explanation. You may also email or text to 07418 344551

Absence from School in Term Time

Eastbourne & Hailsham schools are working with the Local Authority to improve levels of school attendance and we are committed to working with parents to help every child achieve their full potential through regular school attendance. We therefore do not expect parents to take their children out of school in term time and it should not be assumed that a request for a holiday in term time will be authorised. In fact, as a general rule, I do not authorise holidays of any kind.

The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning. You may consider that a holiday will be educational, but your child will still miss out on the teaching that their classmates will receive. Children returning from a term time holiday are also unprepared for the lessons which build on the teaching they have missed. Teachers then have to give more time to help individual children catch up on missed work. This poses a potential risk of the under-achievement of other students in the class. This is something we all have a responsibility to avoid.

If you consider that your request warrants special consideration, you will need to complete the form on the reverse of this notification. A response will be sent to you as soon as possible. If the absence is not considered to be a special circumstance, and you nevertheless take your child out of school, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised in line with County Council guidance.

In the case of an unauthorised holiday, the Behaviour and Attendance Service may be notified of the holiday taken and a Penalty Notice may be issued. Please note that such a penalty is issued to each parent for each child taken out of school. A Penalty Notice is a fine of £60, if paid within 21 days. If payment is made after 21 days but within 28 days the Penalty is doubled to £120. Thereafter, if the Penalty remains unpaid this may result in legal action and you could be subject to a fine of up to £1000 plus costs.

All absence requests must be completed on the attached form, letters will not be accepted. This should be returned to school at least 14 days before the start of the absence.

Willingdon Community School Policy regarding Holidays in Term Time

The DfES instructs schools to consider authorising holidays in term time only in very exceptional circumstances. Almost all holidays taken during Term Time will be coded as unauthorised absences. There is no entitlement for parents to remove their child from school for a family holiday during term time, even in circumstances where the parents’ employers refuse to grant holidays outside of the school term. The school is the only agency which can authorise such a holiday.

The reasons for this are as follows: good school attendance is the most important factor in achievement at school and we are committed to helping every child achieve their full potential. Any absence from school disrupts a child’s learning. Missing lessons damages a student’s self-confidence and understanding. In addition, teachers who then have to slow down lessons to accommodate those who have missed previous sessions are not doing justice to the rest of the class who attended all the lessons.

Parents who wish to claim exceptional circumstances as a reason for taking holidays in term time should be given the school’s request Form and return it to the Attendance Officer at least fourteen days before the holiday.

Leaflet from East Sussex County Council - Request for withdrawal from learning during term-time

Withdrawal from Learning form

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