Aspire, Achieve and Thrive



The staff and Governors of Downland School strongly believe that all students benefit from regular attendance. To achieve this, we do all we can to encourage parents/carers to ensure that their child achieves maximum possible attendance and that any problems which prevent full attendance are identified quickly and acted upon promptly. It is only by attending School regularly that students are able to achieve their full potential.


To impress upon all pupils the benefits of good attendance and to make them aware of our expectations that they will:

  • Attend School regularly
  • Attend School punctually
  • Discuss with their tutors/EWO any problems preventing them from attending School

We expect that parents/carers will:

  • Encourage regular school attendance and be aware of their legal responsibilities.
  • Ensure that their son arrives at School punctually.
  • Provide a note explaining absence on the student’s first day back at School following absence.
  • Contact the School via office on 01380 724193 on the first day of absence.
  • Contact the School whenever any problem occurs that may keep the child away from School.
  • If a student is absent for more than three consecutive days we expect contact from parents.
  • Make contact with the School if absence is more than three consecutive days


        Procedures & Practices

Downland School will:

  • Provide a welcoming atmosphere for children
  • Encourage good attendance
  • Keep accurate records of attendance for all students
  • Monitor the attendance of all students
  • Contact parents as soon as possible when a student fails to attend and no message has been received to explain the absence

The school will decide whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised depending on the reason given

Contact parents of students who are attending irregularly to express their concern and to clarify the expectation of the School and the LA with regard to regular School attendance

Refer on-going irregular or unjustified patterns of attendance to the Education Welfare Service.

Irregular/poor attendance may provide the basis for prosecution by the Education Welfare Service.



The importance of punctuality will be reinforced by all staff:

Pupils late to lessons will be challenged and, if necessary, appropriate sanctions applied

Lateness will be monitored.

Lateness may provide the basis for prosecution by the Education Welfare Service.


    Holidays (Leave of Absence)

We strongly advise parents/carers to book their family holidays (leave of absence) during the School holidays. In exceptional circumstances, parents/carers may request student absence. Any such request must be made in writing to the Headteacher at least four School weeks prior to the start of the absent period requested.

The Headteacher will then decide whether or not to authorise the absence. A decision will be made using the following information:

  • The child’s record of attendance
  • The time of the absence ensuring that it would not prevent the child, for example, from missing any important examinations/assessments
  • Examples of exceptional circumstances are shown in the Local Authority booklet
  • Changing Schools

A student will not be removed from the School roll until the following information has been received & investigated:

  • The date the students will be leaving this School and starting the next
  • The address of the new School
  • The new home address if known

The students school records will then be sent on to the new School as soon as possible. In the event that the Schools’ staff have not been given the above information, the family will be referred to the Education Welfare Service.

              Non Attendance


When a student does not attend school, we will respond in the following manner:

  • If the student has a record of poor attendance the School will contact the parent/carer at home or at work on the first day of absence
  • On the third day of absence if no note or telephone call has been received from the parent/carer the School will contact them
  • If absence persists, a referral will be made to the Education Welfare Service
  • Failure to comply with the expectation set by the Education Welfare Service may result in further action e.g court prosecution, Penalty Notice


The registers will be marked in accordance with Wiltshire Council Guidance.

                Absence Request

Please complete the relevant form - see link below

Exceptional Circumstances Request Form

Leaflet Leave of Absence Guidance for Parents 2016