Southmead Primary School

Southmead Primary School

Headteacher: Mr Nicholas Plumb

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Late/Absence Procedures

Parents must notify the school on the first day of an unplanned absence – for example, if their child is unable to attend due to ill health – by 9 a.m. at the latest or as soon as practically possible.


Methods for notifying school of their child’s absence:

  • leaving a message on the dedicated 24 hour absence telephone line (01271 812448 Option 1).
  • Completing the form below.
  • Completing the form by clicking on the Southmead App Absence Icon.
  • Sending an email to
  • Letting a member of the office staff know.

Absence Notification Form

In the Message Box please include your child's name and class, your contact phone number and the reason for your child's absence. This form is for you to inform school by 9.00 a.m. that your child will be absent today. You will not receive a response to this message; please make sure you wait for the confirmation message, to ensure the form has been sent.

Absence due to illness will be authorised unless the school has a genuine concern about the authenticity of the illness.

If the authenticity of the illness is in doubt, the school may ask parents to provide medical evidence, such as a doctor’s note, prescription, appointment card or other appropriate form of evidence. We will not ask for medical evidence unnecessarily.

If the school is not satisfied about the authenticity of the illness, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and parents will be notified of this.


Medical or dental appointments

Missing registration for a medical or dental appointment is counted as an authorised absence; advance notice is required for authorising these absences.  However, we encourage parents to make medical and dental appointments out of school hours where possible. Where this is not possible, the pupil should be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary.

Medical Absence Forms are available from the school office or are available below.  They should be completed as soon as the appointment has been made to give reasonable notice to the Headteacher and class teacher.


Miscellaneous Absence

There may be occasions when known absence will not be due to a medical appointment or holiday.  For example, another family member has an appointment but there is no one to collect the child at the normal time.  The child must go with the parent / carer to drop off / collect a family member at boarding school or the airport.  In this instance we ask for a Miscellaneous Absence Request Form to be completed.  Miscellaneous Absence Request Forms are available from the school office or are available below. 


Lateness and punctuality

A pupil who arrives after 9am but before 9.10am will be marked as late, using the L code.

A pupil who arrives after the register has closed at 9.10am will be marked with a U code.  This will be an unauthorised absence.

Lateness will be regularly monitored and letters (Appendix 5) sent home to parents / carers of children who have 4 or more late codes in a half termly period.  We will offer support and help if there are certain circumstances where lateness is an issue.


Following up absence

The school will follow up any absences to ascertain the reason, ensure proper safeguarding action is taken where necessary, identify whether the absence is approved or not and identify the correct attendance code to use.

The school Attendance Officer will check all the registers by 9.20am and call any unknown absences by 9.30am.  If we are not able to obtain a reason for absence from any of the child’s contacts, the Headteacher will be informed.  We will send an Unexplained Absence Letter home for Parents and Carers to complete.  Some cases may be referred immediately to the Education Welfare Officer.

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