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Westwood Primary School

'If you believe you can do it, you can and you will!'

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The importance of good attendance

We place great importance on good attendance and punctuality here at Westwood and are extremely proud of the improvements we have seen in our attendance levels over the last few years.   We know that a child’s attendance has a direct impact on their learning. Those children who are regularly absent from school and regularly late do not achieve their potential and do fall behind in class, therefore we celebrate good attendance in a wide variety of ways.


Notification of absence
The school office should be notified if your child is ill or unable to attend due to a medical appointment or other unavoidable reason.  If your child is absent without notification you will be contacted by telephone and asked to provide a reason for the absence.  Where possible medical appointments should be arranged outside of the school day to ensure children do not miss valuable learning time.  Where this is unavoidable, we expect children to be in school before the appointment and return to school after where this is appropriate.



Headteachers are not permitted to authorise holidays taken during term time.  If you require leave of absence for your child during term time, an absence request form should be completed and handed in to the office to notify us that your child will be absent from school.  In rare and exceptional circumstances the leave may be authorised, however in all other circumstances this period of absence will be marked as ‘unauthorised’.  It is important to be aware that 5 days of unauthorised absence can often be enough to trigger further action or in some circumstances a fixed penalty notice.

Attendance Procedures






5 days absence 

A letter will be sent out to parents informing them that their child’s attendance needs to improve. They will be told in the letter that no absence will be authorised without proof of illness etc.

If exceptional attendance circumstances are known to school about the child e.g. the child has been in hospital etc. the letter will not be sent)


5 unauthorised days

(10 sessions within 12 weeks)


After 5 unauthorised days (10 sessions) FAST TRACK LETTER 1 will be issued. At this point parents will also be invited in to see us if they wish. Absences will continue to only be authorised if evidence is provided (appointment cards etc.)


1 unauthorised day within 20 days after Fast Track letter 1 has been sent

Send home FAST TRACK LETTER 2. The letter will invite parents into school for a School Attendance Panel meeting (SAP).


SAP meeting

FAST TRACK LETTER 3 is given to parents. This is a penalty notice warning letter. During the meeting parents will be informed that if their child has 1 more day off (2 sessions) unauthorised in the next 20 days a penalty notice will be issued against them (a fine) if they have had a total of 10 or more absences in the last 12 weeks.


1 unauthorised absence (2 sessions)

Fine issued and parents informed.


At this point a penalty notice will be issued under the provisions of the Education Act 1996.


Note: Payment of a Penalty Notice (from September 2013), if paid within 21 days, is £60. If parents do not pay within 21 days the fine is increased to £120 and parents have a further 7 days to make this payment in full.


Non-payment of a Penalty Notice within the total 28-day period could result in the commencement of criminal proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.


Attendance Ambassadors 2023/24

We are the newly appointed attendance ambassadors. We are responsible for helping the school reach it’s end of year target of 96%. We want to encourage everyone to come to school every day.


To do this we will be announcing the house with the best attendance each week in assembly. The house with the best attendance each week will receive an extra play. We will also announce at the end half term who is the winning house and they will receive a special treat, which we will decide.


We will also help decide on the family incentive each half term. If you have any ideas, please let us know!


At Westwood, all children from Reception to Year 6 are split into 6 different houses. Each house is named after a sporting legend from Leeds. Below you can see images of our sporting heroes.

Could your house be the winning house this week?