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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 possible coronavirus infection

Please continue to follow the latest government guidelines, last updated 15.2.2021.

  • if you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), (cough / fever 37.3 upwards / loss of taste or smell) however mild, stay at home for 10 days from when your symptoms started. See ending isolation section for more information.
  • if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 10 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period. See ending isolation section for more information.
  • get tested as soon as possible and inform the school of the results when you receive them.


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

Currently, pupils who have medical appointments during school hours must not attend school that day as we cannot have staff and pupils moving around the school outside of their cocoons. We ask if these appointments can be arranged outside of school hours that parents do this where possible. If you have exceptional circumstances you can email the school at and make a request for an exception to be made, however this does not guarantee that an exception will be made. As the school is exceptionally busy at this time, if you have not had a response regarding your request please assume that you have not been given an exception and keep your child at home that day. 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.