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Our School Day & Attendance

The table below shows the impact of whole days absent and lost learning hours in one school year:

Should you have any questions regarding attendance or you would like to discuss how we may support you in ensuring your child attends school regularly, please contact the school office for an appointment with the Head of School.

School Day

Please note this totals the compulsory 32.5 hours a week. 

Doors open - 8.50am

School begins -  8.50am

Break time - 15 minutes between 10.30 - 11.00am

Lunch break - 12.00 - 1pm

Break time - Flexible during pm

School Ends - 3.15pm

Times of School Sessions – A Typical Day Morning Session 8.50am to 12pm Afternoon session 1pm to 3.15pm Children should arrive promplty at school for 8.50am when the door is opened for them. Parents are responsible for their children until they enter school. Registration takes place at 8.55am.

Entry into school is by the side gate in Pooles Lane into our playground for KS1 and the Top door (with bell) for KS2 which is opened at 8.50am and closed at 8.55am.

If your child arrives late he/she will be admitted through the front door. Registers are taken at 8.55am and if a child has not arrived by this time a late mark will be recorded. If a child has not arrived by 9am then this will be recorded as late after registers close. If no contact from home has been received then the school will try to contact parent(s) to establish the whereabouts of the pupil.

At 3.15pm the side gate into Pooles Lane is opened for parents to come into the playground to collect their children. Key Stage 1 and reception pupils are collected from the outside learning area by the patio. Key Stage 2 pupils should be collected from the playground unless the school has had written/signed permission for them to walk home alone. Please do not park in Pooles Lane when collecting or dropping off your child for obvious safety reasons.


At the beginning of each school year you will be asked to fill in a form stating whether your child is to be collected from school at the end of the day or may walk home alone.

If there are any changes in the arrangements or you are not collecting your child yourself please let the school know in advance and fill in the form in the front porch. If the parent or designated person fails to collect a child at the appointed time then the contacts on the emergency list are telephoned in order of priority.

Pupils are not allowed to take holiday in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is very rare that any holiday would be authorised. Good attendance is key to pupils making good progress and taking time out to go on holiday can significantly hamper progress. Therefore, we request that no child takes holiday during term time. For the DfE statutory guidance on school attendance please click on the following link:


What is meant by a session?  

A school day is made up of two session, the morning session and the afternoon session. As an example, 5 schools days equates to 10 sessions.

How may I report my child as unwell? 

Please contact the school office and either leave a message on the dedicated answer machine (prior to the school day) or you may speak to the receptionist during the school day.

I have received a letter, or been invited into school, about attendance. Should I be worried? 

No. As advised above, any communication of this kind received from the school is intended to keep you updated with your child's attendance level and, where there appears to be an increase in absences, to see what we can do to help you and your child to ensure they are coming into school regularly.  We ask that parents do their best to work with us so that any issues can be resolved as quickly as possible without the need to make referrals to the EWS.

My child does not want to come to school.
What should I do? 

Parents/carers have a duty to ensure that their child of statutory school age is receiving an appropriate education. If your child is not wishing to come to school then we need to know so that we can look into the reason(s) for this and work out what we can do to help.

Appointments During School Time

There may be occasions where a pupil needs to attend a hospital appointment. Generally if these are booked in advance you can request an appointment which does not interfere with the school day. We would request that dentist and doctor’s appointments are also booked out of the school day unless they are emergency appointments. The school will not authorise time taken out for appointments which need not take place during the school day. We cannot also authorise pupils to be out of school if another family member has an appointment. 

Request for Term Time Leave

Leave during term time is strongly discouraged due to the inevitable disruption caused to the educational progress of individual pupils and school staff.

In the exceptional cases where a decision is made to authorise leave during term time, parents/carers are reminded that this is a only for the period in question at the time and so it should not be assumed that authorisation will be granted for any future request.

Where a period of unauthorised term time leave is taken, whether this has been requested or not, please note that you may be at risk of a £60 per child, per parent fine from Somerset County Council. Further details of the prosecution process are available on their website.

Similarly, where a child accrues unauthorised absences equating to 10 or more sessions in a 12 week period, a warning penalty notice request may be made to Somerset County Council.  Further details may be found in our Attendance Policy.

Attendance Expectation

The Department for Education say there is clear evidence of a link between poor attendance at school and low levels of achievement. Regular and punctual attendance at school is both a legal requirement and essential for children and young people to maximise their educational opportunities. The expectation is that every child should be in school, every day, unless they are unwell. It is taken into account that children are likely to be unwell at some point during the school year and as a result the attendance expectation here at Winsham Primary is set at 96%. Winsham Primary is committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for all our pupils. In order to ensure this, if your child’s attendance shows a decrease towards the school’s expectation of 96%, you will be notified and we will aim to work with you to ensure that any issues are resolved as quickly as possible. If your child’s attendance drops below 90%, they will be considered ‘Persistently Absent’ and will be raised as a concern with the Education Welfare Service. In this instance, the Education Welfare Service would aim to work with you to improve your child’s attendance however if this proved unsuccessful, legal action would be considered.


Being late to school can have a considerable impact over the whole school year. The table below shows you just how much time can be missed over a year just by being 5 minutes late to school every day:

5 minutes late every day = 3 days of school lost a year

10 minutes late every day = 6.5 days of school lost a year

15 minutes late every day = 10 days of school lost a year

20 minutes late every day = 13 days of school lost a year

30 minutes late every day = 19 days of school lost a year

We understand that the school mornings can be hectic, but when your child is late for school they are missing out on vital parts of their education.

​Absent Pupil Procedure

If your child is absent from school you have a duty to telephone the School Office by 9am on each day of absence and provide a reason. An answer phone facility is available for you to leave a message.

In the event of no telephone contact, the School Office will make a telephone call to the contact numbers on file. If we are unable to make contact, the school will follow an Absent Pupil Procedure which involves us undertaking several steps to ensure ourselves of the safe whereabouts of the pupil. This is part of our safeguarding commitment.

Working with Parents/Carers

If a child has been absent from school on a number of separate occasions, we may write to you or seek to speak with you to notify you that their overall attendance percentage is decreasing. This is not to be seen as a negative communication but rather a way of us keeping you informed of what our data is telling us and a reminder that should you or your child have any concerns around attending school, you are welcome to come in and discuss this with us. We will always try to help wherever we can.

Our letter process starts by advising of a reduced level of attendance however if further absence is incurred, you may receive a second letter which invites you to come into the school for a discussion.

Genuine illness is marked as authorised absence however where it is identified that a child has incurred many absences which are all illness related, we may write to you to advise that further absences will need to be evidenced, or that we require extra information regarding the illness to enable us to continue authorising the absences.

We will always aim to work with parents to resolve any attendance difficulties however where we have undertaken many unsuccessful attempts, if attendance is considered an issue, in the interests of our pupils, we will seek the involvement of the Education Welfare Service (EWS). Our Attendance Policy lists the actions that EWS may take to ensure good attendance.

Promoting Good Attendance

Schools in our Trust promote good attendance in a variety of different ways which may include the issuing of certificates at half termly and yearly intervals, stickers, celebratory assemblies, a non-uniform day or a week’s care of the school mascot for the class with the best attendance.

School Attendance Guide

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