Section 30 of the 1980 Education Act lays a duty on every parent of a child of ‘school age’ to ensure that their child attends school regularly.  Attendance must be recorded twice a day, morning and afternoon.


Regulation 7 of the Education (School and Placing Information) (Scotland) Amendment, etc Regulations 1993 requires each child’s absence from school to be recorded in the school register as authorised, that is, approved by the authority, or unauthorised, that is, unexplained by the parent (truancy) or temporarily excluded from the school.


Unnotified Absence Policy

It is East Dunbartonshire Council’s policy that parents should notify their child’s school if their child is going to be absent.  In some instances it might not be possible for parents to pre-notify the school of an absence because their child may have become unwell during the night.  In these circumstance, parents should notify the school before registration begins.


If parents do not inform the school of their child’s absence, the school will take action to find your child.  This will involve contacting you and, where necessary, your emergency contact person(s).  If these actions are not successful, the school will ask the school’s Attendance Officer to visit your home.  In some exceptional circumstances, where the school believes your child could be at risk of harm, contact will be made with the Police and/or Social Work.  Parents should also give their child a note on his/her return to school confirming the reason for absence.


Cases of unexplained absence will be investigated by the Attendance Officer.  The authority has the power to write to, interview or prosecute parents, or refer children to the Reporter of The Children’s Hearings, if necessary. 


As you may have heard or read in the media over the last few years schools are focusing attention on how they can raise standards of achievement for your children.  This involves a great deal of development at all levels.  However, a very simple way of raising achievement is to ensure that children attend school as much as they can.  Attendance and punctuality are vital for your child to reach their potential.  This is not to say that children should attend school when they are sick and we do understand that sometimes there are unavoidable delays, but there are times when absence and latecoming are avoidable.


You can do your part to help us maximise the time that is available in school by:

-Ensuring that children attend school any day that they can.

-Ensuring that children arrive at school on time.

-Ensuring that you send a note if a child is absent or late.  (a phone call must be followed up by

  a letter for absence to be authorised).





We will help you by:

-Keeping a note of the children who are late.

-Monitoring class registers.

-Informing you of latecoming:  Step 1 – by a phone call

                                               Step 2 –  by letter

                                               Step 3 –  by arranging a meeting.

-Acting quickly when children show persistent or worrying absence.

-Contacting you when your child’s absence is unexplained and following Council Policy for the

  safety of your child.


If we work together we will ensure that the children of St Andrew’s make the best of their time at school and can achieve all that they are capable of.  If you wish to discuss any of the matters arising from these procedures please do not hesitate to contact the school.



Family Holidays

Every effort should be made to avoid family holidays during term time as this seriously disrupts a child’s education and greatly reduces learning time.  It should be noted that it not only has an adverse effect on a child while he/she is absent from school, but also leads to extended disruption to a child’s education for a period of time when he/she returns to school after the family holiday.  Family holidays will only be regarded as authorised absence where prior agreement from the school has been obtained and where it is judged the holiday is important to the well-being and cohesion of the family, following serious or terminal illness, bereavement or other traumatic events.


Parents may request that their children be permitted to be absent from school to make an extended visit to relatives.  This leave will be regarded the same as a family holiday but will be recorded separately from school holidays for attendance purposes.  Requests should be made in writing detailing the destination and the duration.


Clearly, with no explanation from the parent, the absence is unauthorised.


The school Attendance Officer investigates unexplained absence, and that the authority has the power to write to, interview or prosecute parents, or to refer pupils to The Reporter of The Children’s Hearings, if necessary.