Attendance and Lateness

Guidance for Parents  on Attendance from the Scottish Government

Attending and taking part in learning – wherever learning takes place – is fundamental to making sure that our young people become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens. Scotland’s children and young people need to be included, engaged and involved throughout their education.
Parents and carers are by far the most important influence on children’s lives and learning and it is parents and carers who are responsible for making sure their child is educated. The download file below is for parents or carers and it explains your responsibilities as a parent when it comes to your child’s attendance at school. 

Adobe_PDF_file_icon_32x32A guide for parents about school attendance

Sciennes Policy on Attendance and Lateness

Please let the school know by letter or phone if your child is likely to be absent for some time, and give your child a note on his or her return to school, confirming the reason for absence. If there is no explanation from a child’s parents, the absence will be regarded as unauthorised.

It is important for your child to attend school regularly. If they are unable to attend due to illness, or for any other reason, please telephone the school on the first day of absence between 8 and 9am. Please leave a message on the answer phone if there is no-one to take your call. If a telephone call has not been received, our absence alert system will call to make sure that your child is safe. If the child has a dentist or doctor’s appointment, please inform the school by writing a short note to the class teacher.

Parents should be aware that persistent lateness is very disruptive to the child’s learning and to the rest of the class. Parents should ensure that their child is delivered and collected on time. A note of lateness, as well as absence, is kept in the class register.

Please make every effort to avoid family holidays during term time as this will disrupt your child’s education and reduces learning time. The Head Teacher can approve absence from school for a family holiday in certain extreme situations, for example, in traumatic domestic circumstances where the holiday would improve the cohesion and wellbeing of the family. Please discuss your plans with Mrs Noble before the holiday. If permission cannot be given before the holiday, it will be recorded as unauthorised absence. A holiday can be authorised by the Head Teacher if you can prove that work commitments make a family holiday impossible during school holiday times. Normally, your employer will need to provide evidence of your work commitments. Absence approved on this basis is regarded as authorised absence.

Any requests for extended absence over two weeks will be referred to the Senior Education Manager: Inclusion who will decide if it will be recorded as authorised or unauthorised leave.

Parents from minority ethnic religious communities may request that their children be permitted to be absent from school to celebrate recognised religious events. Absence approved on this basis is regarded as authorised absence. Extended leave can also be granted on request for families returning to their country of origin for cultural or care reasons.

A supportive approach is taken to unexplained absence. However the Children and Families Department has legal powers to write to, interview or prosecute parents, or refer pupils to the Reporter to the Children’s Panel, if necessary.