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At Stokenham Primary School, we aim to ensure that all children receive an education that maximises opportunities for each pupil to reach their full potential.  In order to achieve this, we work hard to provide a welcoming and caring learning environment where every member of the school community feels valued.

Every School Day Counts!

In order for our pupils to achieve their very best it is important that their attendance is good. Every lesson really does count for your child and catching up on lost time from school can be really difficult. Good attendance is linked to increased achievement, positive relationships with other children, and improved learning behaviours.

Click here for our latest policy



If your child is unwell

We recognise and understand that children do become ill and this may result in them being unable to attend school for a period of time. We ask that parents make the school office aware of any absences by 9:00am for every day that your child is absent. 

If your child has a sickness/diarrhoea bug, we ask that parents keep them off school for 48 hours after their last episode of sickness.

If your child has an illness that may be contagious, we ask that parents follow the doctors’ instructions regarding absence from school. Please keep the school informed about this, as detailed above. There are also some links to useful information pages, below.

The school can administer prescribed medication if parents have completed the correct permissions form. The form can be found at the main school office.

If your child has a cold or is feeling a little unwell, we encourage parents to bring them to school. Teachers are very vigilant and the school will contact parents if your child’s symptoms worsen, or we feel they become too unwell to remain in school.

The office team are able to support parents with any queries regarding absences due to illness.

Please also check the NHS Guide ‘Should I keep my child off school?’ A link can be found here.


It is important that the children arrive at school on time, ready and willing to learn. The gates open at 8:50am and all children are expected to be in their classrooms by 9am for registration, with the gates being closed at 9:00am. Any child who arrives after the gates are locked needs to be signed in at the main school reception.

Being late for school reduces learning time and can be highly disruptive and harmful to a child’s self-esteem. Children can often feel embarrassed and/or upset at entering a busy classroom after everyone else; missing the initial morning instructions can mean that individuals are playing ‘catch-up’ for the rest of the morning.

If your child is 5 minutes late every day, they will miss 3 days of learning a year.

If they are 15 minutes late every day, they will miss 2 weeks of learning each year.

Please also note that if your child arrives after the school register closes at 9.30am, this will be marked as an unauthorised absence.

Holiday in term time

In order to ensure that the pupils at Stokenham Primary School receive a high-quality education, holidays during term time will not be authorised.  Any exceptional circumstances should be put in advance in writing to the Head of School via an S2 form and an individual decision will be made. Unauthorised absences can result in the parents being fined (further information can be found on the Attendance policy on the website). The Local Authority may also decide to take parents to court if they take their child out of school without authorisation.

 What communication can parents expect from school?

School will contact parents throughout the year regarding attendance. As we have a duty of care to inform parents about attendance. We will write to parents if and when attendance falls below a certain point. For most parents this will be to share information about current attendance so that they are informed and get support to maintain positive attendance. Some parents may be invited into school to discuss their child’s attendance and how the school can support to help attendance improve and move forward as a school-parent partnership.

At the start of each academic year, and school term

Parents will receive a letter reminding them about their legal responsibility regarding term time holidays and the school’s responsibility to share information about term time holidays with Devon County Council. Parents will also receive a termly update about their child’s attendance rate for their information.

If attendance falls below 95%

If a child’s attendance falls below 95%, parents will receive an initial letter outlining the concerns about attendance.

If, after the first concern letter, attendance is not improving and remains a concern

If, after the first concern letter, your child’s attendance continues to fall, parents will receive a second communication which invites parents to meet with a school representative to discuss how we can work together to improve the child’s attendance. This meeting will outline clear actions to improve attendance together. Other agencies may be invited to support if appropriate. This is a collaborative process between school and home so that we can ensure the best possible outcomes for your child.

What can parents do to help attendance?

  • If your child is unwell, phone and report this in to the office by 9:00am at the latest.
  • If you suspect that your child is a reluctant attender or is unhappy at school, do not keep them at home. Contact the school as soon as possible so that any difficulties can be resolved.
  • Make sure your child arrives to school on time and is prepared for the day ahead (e.g. that they have the correct school uniform, homework, P.E. kit, swimming kit, etc).
  • Take an interest in your child’s education. Ask them about their day and praise and encourage their achievements at school. If the children can see that you value education, they will too.
  • Attend any meetings that you are invited to regarding attendance.
  • Make medical/dental appointments out of school hours or during the school holidays wherever possible.

We expect the school will:

  • Keep regular and accurate records of AM and PM attendance and punctuality.
  • Monitor individual children's attendance where concerns are raised. 
  • Contact parents/carers when a child fails to attend and where no message has been received to explain the absence.
  • Encourage good attendance and punctuality through a system of reward and recognition.
  • Regularly inform parents/carers of the % attendance of all pupils.
  • Inform parents/carers via a series of letters regarding their child’s punctuality and poor attendance.

Working together to improve attendance - government guidance

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

How does your child compare?

Attendance during one school year

equals this number of days absent

which is approximately this many weeks absent

which means this number of lessons missed


9 days

2 weeks

50 lessons


19 days

4 weeks

100 lessons


29 days

6 weeks

150 lessons


Please see below the link to DCC's Code of Conduct regarding absence penalty notices.  

Devon School absence penalty notices: code of conduct