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Illness & Absence Procedures



Regular attendance is crucial to the education of children.


When your child is unable to attend school, we do need to hear from you on that day.  Please telephone the school first thing in the morning to let us know and to inform us of the reason for the absence. An automated text message is sent if the office has not been informed of the absence.




When your child is unwell, it can be hard deciding whether to keep them off school.

Use common sense when deciding whether or not your child is too ill to attend school.

Ask yourself the following questions:


  • Is your child well enough to do the activities of the school day? If not, keep your child at home.
  • Does your child have a condition that could be passed on to other children or school staff? If so, keep your child at home.
  • Would you take a day off work if you had this condition? If so, keep your child at home.


If your child is ill, it's likely to be due to one of a few minor health conditions. Whether you send your child to school will depend on how severe you think the illness is. This guidance can help you make that judgement.


Remember: if you're concerned about your child’s health, consult a health professional.


Common conditions

Cough and cold - A child with a minor cough or cold may attend school. If the cold is accompanied by a raised temperature, shivers or drowsiness, the child should stay off school, visit the GP and return to school 24 hours after they start to feel better. If your child has a more severe and long-lasting cough, consult your GP. They can give guidance on whether the child should stay off school.


Raised temperature - If your child has a raised temperature, they shouldn't attend school. They can return 24 hours after they start to feel better.


Rash - Rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses, such as chickenpox and measles. Children with these conditions shouldn't attend school. If your child has a rash, check with your GP or practice nurse before sending them to school.


Headache - A child with a minor headache doesn't usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as raised temperature or drowsiness, then keep the child off school and consult your GP.


Vomiting and diarrhoea - Children with these conditions should be kept off school. They can return 48 hours after their symptoms disappear.  Most cases of vomiting or diarrhoea get better without treatment, but if symptoms persist, consult your GP.


Sore throat - A sore throat alone doesn't have to keep a child from school. If it's accompanied by a raised temperature, the child should stay at home.


If after you have read these guidelines you are still in doubt, please contact the school for guidance.


We are legally required to identify reasons for absence and classify them as authorised or unauthorised.  These figures have to be published annually.


Authorised absences

This includes:

  • Illness

  • Medical/dental treatment

  • Exclusion


Unauthorised absences are any absences for which the reason is not known or permission has not been given, and includes:

  • Holidays during term time, unless there are very exceptional circumstances

  • Care for siblings

  • Sick relatives

  • Visits to relatives, long weekends away

  • Shopping etc

  • Visits to Bridgwater Fair

  • Inability to get to school for reasons of transport


We are obliged to monitor attendance in school.  If a child’s attendance rate drops below 95%, parents are informed and we may liaise with the Education Attendance Officer as necessary.



In accordance with new government guidelines, authorisation for absence from school for family holidays will only be given by the Headteacher in very exceptional circumstances.