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Absence & Attendance

Evidence demonstrates that there is a strong relationship between regular attendance at school and children reaching their educational potential. At The Vineyard, we aim to work closely with pupils and their parents to ensure that children arrive punctually and attend regularly. Our Pupil Attendance Policy details all the procedures we have in place to ensure that our records are accurate. It also sets out how we work with families when problems with attendance and punctuality are identified.


Procedure if a child is absent

When a child is unexpectedly absent, the class teacher will record the absence in the register. The school office staff will then check whether there has been contact from a parent or carer.

The school encourages parents to inform the school of their child’s absence through illness by 8.30a.m. This provides reassurance of your child’s safety in the event that parents cannot be contacted by telephone for any reason.

When the child returns to school, an email or a letter should be provided from a parent or carer to explain the absence, and confirm its duration, even if the parent telephoned the school on the first day of absence. If we have not received a telephone call or absence email or letter, an ‘N’ letter will be sent home. Please complete the slip and return it to school with a reason for each of the absences listed. If we do not receive the reply slip within two weeks, these absences will be marked as unauthorised and cannot be changed at a later date.


COVID-19: guidance for households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection

Please make sure that you take your child for a PCR test (not a lateral flow test) if:

There is a recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing. As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case and/or their parent/carer to identify close contacts. Contacts from a school setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case and/or their parent specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact. You may be contacted in exceptional cases to help with identifying close contacts, as currently happens in managing other infectious diseases.
Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal. They do not need to wear a face covering within the school, but it is expected and recommended that these are worn when travelling on public or dedicated transport.


Medical Protocol at School

If your child has had a bout of vomiting or diarrhoea we ask that they do not return to school for 48 hours after the last bout.


Medical Appointments

We ask if medical appointments can be arranged outside of school hours that parents do this where possible. If this is not possible, please send an email An email should be sent to the school prior to the day of absence, e.g. if a child has an unavoidable medical appointment. A scanned copy or photograph of the appointment letter should be attached to the email. Alternatively, you may print and fill out a Medical Appointment Slip (below).


Exceptional Leave

Parents wishing to apply for exceptional leave during term time should complete an Absence Request Form (available here) and send it to the headteacher well in advance of the absence. A full explanation of the circumstances is always helpful. A meeting with the headteacher might be necessary to discuss the application further. Please read the Pupil Attendance Policy before submitting an application for exceptional leave.