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The Beacon C of E (VA) Primary School

'Living life in all its fullness' (John 10:10)


1 Beacon Place, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 2SR

01395 264300





Regular attendance and punctuality are essential in ensuring children have every opportunity to succeed. It is the legal responsibility of parents / carers to ensure children attend and are punctual.  If an absence during term time is unavoidable due to illness, please phone or email the school office before 8.30am.  We operate a ‘safe to school’ procedure and will attempt to make contact on the first day of any unknown absence.

Requests for absence (that aren’t due to illness) need to be made in advance.  Please note that holidays will only be authorised by the headteacher in exceptional circumstances and must be requested prior to booking.  Absence Request Form can be found here.

We monitor attendance of all our children, working closely with our Education Welfare Officer. 

For further information, please see our Attendance Policy.

The Department for Education and Children’s Commissioner have published this advice and guidance for parents and carers. Working together to improve school attendance.

Please visit the Devon County Council pages here for more information on Penalty notices

Summary of responsibilities for school attendance


Your child’s attendance at school matters.  Children whose attendance is strong have good mental health and well-being, firm friendships and trusting relationships with staff, a secure sense of self, they make good progress in and enjoy their learning.  Children who attend well in school are building a firm foundation to support them to live life in all its fullness both now and into adult life.  There are strong links between good school attendance and children’s learning progress and good exam results both in primary and secondary school.

The Beacon staff team will work with parents and carers and our children to support and encourage high levels of attendance.  However, it is your responsibility as parents and carers to ensure your child maintains a high level of attendance in school.

There are 190 school days each year, this means that there are 175 non-school days a year.

Attendance %


Days absent 

How much of school life is this?

What will school be doing?


Perfect Attendance



Monitoring attendance.


Good Attendance


6 days absence in a year


Improvement Required


9 ½ days absence in a year.

We will be talking with you about ways to improve your child’s attendance. We will write to you with Attendance Letter 1 when attendance reaches 95%.


Concern (Persistent Absence*)


15 ½ days absence in a year – that’s 3 weeks.

We will continue working with you to improve attendance.  Attendance Letter 2 is sent at 90%.


Serious Concern **




6 months absence over a 5 year period.

Serious Concern

Missing this much education is not fair on your child and will result in legal action. We will have contacted the Education Welfare Officer and further meetings with them may take place.


School is required by law to publish rates of attendance to parents/carers and publicly.


Absence from school and requests for absence.

If your child is unwell. Sometimes a child is ‘under the weather’ but well enough to attend. If they are not well enough, please let us know by 8.30am by emailing or phoning the office on 01395 264300.

Is my child well enough to come to school? It can be a difficult decision. If we feel your child is not well enough to be in school, we will contact you.  There is further information here

Time off for other reasons. Parents and carers should aim to ensure appointments are made for outside of school hours whenever possible (for example, opticians, dental etc). We recognise that sometimes there are appointments which have to take place during school time (ie NHS consultants, hospital appointments).  In some situations, absence may be authorised, for example essential medical appointments, illness, the wedding of a parent or sibling, funeral of a close family member or close friend.  Parents and carers should note that it is in the Headteacher’s discretion to authorise absence in exceptional circumstances, it is not a legal entitlement.

What won’t be authorised? Headteachers are only able to authorise absence from school for exceptional reasons. There are 190 days a year when children are in school, leaving 175 days for other events and activities. Children have a right to their education, this includes regular attendance. Absence will not be authorised for reasons such as sleeping in, shopping, caring for a sibling or parent, birthdays, relatives visiting, a late night, trip or event the day/evening before, holidays during term time.

All absence requests must be made in advance using the S2 Form  ‘Absence Request form’ which is found on our website. 

Unauthorised absence, penalty notices and fines. Parents/carers should ensure they know whether or not the absence will be authorised before the day/s as an unauthorised absence will likely result in a penalty notice or court summons being issued to each parent for each pupil affected. Therefore, we advise the completed form is sent in at least three school weeks prior to the date/s requested. Parents/carers should note that only one penalty notice per parent, per child will normally be issued within a two-year period. A second ‘offence’ within a two-year period will be referred straight to court.

Lateness it is the responsibility of parents/carers to ensure their child arrives punctually. This means that your child arrives in time to be settled in their classroom and ready for the start of the day at 8.50am.  It is stressful for a child to have to come into their classroom after their classmates have all arrived and after the start of the day.  Doing so increases their anxiety.  They miss out on important time with friends and staff which helps children prepare for their day, build friendships and trusting relationships with staff.