Victoria CE Infant and Nursery School

Flourishing in learning and love

01442 865781


At Victoria School, we want the whole school community – governors, staff, parents and pupils to be committed to high standards of attendance and punctuality.

Good attendance helps the children in this school community to maximise their learning.  This policy will support us all to achieve high levels of attendance and punctuality.

Victoria School aims to encourage and assist all pupils to achieve excellent levels of attendance and punctuality as good school attendance assists children and young people to achieve.

Promoting Positive Attendance

We seek to actively promote outstanding attendance and award attendance certificates in assembly each term to those children who have had 100% attendance.  The school works in partnership with the Attendance Improvement Officer (AIO) and parents to improve attendance for individuals and the whole school.


Parents are asked to have their children in school by 8.25 am, when a bell will be rung, ready to start at 8.30 am the school gates will be locked at 8.35 am.

Any pupil arriving after 8.35 am and/or after the closure of the external playground should report to the school office. 

Entries on the late sheet will be transferred to the computerised registration system by office staff to monitor lateness.

If the pupil’s punctuality of attendance does not improve sufficiently, the pupil’s case will be referred to the Head teacher in the first instance and then possibly to the Attendance Improvement Officer.


It is the responsibility of parents to inform the school of any absence.  A letter must be sent to confirm any absence on the day the child returns.

Absence due to sickness

Parents are required to telephone the school office by 8:45am if their child is absent due to sickness.  Parents do not need to telephone on every day of the period of absence, however a letter must be sent to confirm any absence on the day the child returns.

If your child has had diarrhoea or sickness they must not return to school for a period of 48 hours after the last episode. These are County guidelines and all parents must adhere to them.


The Headteacher and office should be informed prior to the absence if possible of children who are or will be absent in the following circumstances:

  • Undergoing or about to undergo an operation
  • Any long term sickness or problems
  • Serious illness
  • Contagious illnesses such as Rubella, Mumps, etc.

This list is not exhaustive – It is always better to let the Headteacher know of any concerns affecting the child or potentially other children.


Parents are asked to notify the school by letter or telephone in advance if their child is to attend the dentist, doctor or for any other health related reason.  

Holidays/Occasional Absence

The decision was taken in the Summer Term 2005 by all the Berkhamsted schools not to authorise holiday absence.  This has been in place since September 2005.

Parents are most strongly urged to avoid taking family holidays during term time.  Parents do not have the right to take their child out of school for such a holiday, and this is regularly explained to them. Should a parent decide nevertheless to go ahead with a holiday in term time it is essential they fill in a Leave of Absence request form at least 3 weeks prior to the absence. 

The holiday absence form will be used as evidence of the absence with the Attendance Improvement Officer (AIO).  Three weeks’ notice must be given in order for the office to administer

Very occasionally, holidays of more than two weeks to visit the Country of origin and family living overseas may be planned.  Parents are urged to discuss with school staff, the most appropriate time of year and point in the child’s educational career for this visit to take place.  This will help minimise disruption to the child’s progress at school.

The school does not provide work for children to do when taken out for holidays.  Work will be provided for longer term sickness or ill health.  We do suggest the child keeps a diary and reads each day on holiday.


Authorised/Unauthorised Absence

All applications for leave of absence are dealt with by the Head teacher.

All requests for absence for holidays will be signed by the Head teacher, although these will NOT be authorised except at the Head’s discretion for compassionate reasons.

Absence can be authorised if:

  • the pupil was absent with leave (defined as ‘leave granted by any person authorised to do so by the governing body)
  • the pupil was ill ‘or prevented from attending by any unavoidable cause’
  • there is a family bereavement
  • the pupil is attending an approved off-site activity or is receiving special off-site tuition
  • the pupil is attending a Pupil Referral Unit
  • the pupil is involved in an exceptional special occasion (e.g. if a pupil is attending the graduation of an older sibling or funeral of a relative)

Absence should be unauthorised if: 

  • no explanation is forthcoming
  • the school is dissatisfied with the explanation
  • the pupil stays at home to mind the house or to look after family members
  • the pupil is absent for unexceptional special occasions (e.g. a birthday)
  • the pupil is away from school on a family holiday  Following Hertfordshire County Council’s policy and depending on the child’s individual circumstances the school, at the Head’s discretion, may grant some days to pursue a modelling/filming task.
  • Absence due to Modelling/Filming 

Strategies for Dealing with Persistent Absenteeism or Lateness

The Head will be informed about children who miss the odd day frequently, or are away for a few days without any notification or whose absences follow a pattern. The parents will be contacted and problems discussed. If there is no change, the AIO is informed. The same applies to continual lateness. The AIO visits school each half term as a matter of course and this provides a good opportunity to discuss overall trends and individual children.

Parents who fail to respond to requests by the school to send their children to school, or who take unauthorised holidays during term time may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Fine by the Local Education Authority. The notices will be issued at the discretion of the Headteacher and will be applied to parents whose children have at least 21 sessions of unauthorised absence in the previous/and or current term. The fines will apply to cases where the parent/guardian is able but unwilling to ensure the attendance of the pupil. Fixed Penalty Notices will operate following the HCC Guidance for schools.

For more information please read our Attendance Policy.