The White Horse Federation Wiltshire hub has a dedicated education welfare officer (EWO) — Vicky Gale. Vicky is based at Devizes School and is available to provide advice.

An overview of school’s expectations in regards to attendance is provided below:

  • Children should be in school every day and arrive on time.
  • Please ensure that you communicate reasons for absence to school by 8:45 a.m. on the morning of each day of absence.
  • Please communicate any reasons for absence fully and clearly with school staff.
  • Please try to make medical appointments (where possible) outside of the school day.
  • Please take holidays out of school term time.

School attendance that drops below 95% is considered a cause for concern (95% equates to 10 missed days across a whole school year). Attendance below this level for the academic year will trigger a process by which you will receive notification of your child’s attendance. If attendance does not improve further action will be taken which may require you to come in and meet with a member of our school leadership team or our EWO.

Excellent attendance at school is important to allow a child to fulfil their potential.

Absence From School During Term Time

Legal Background and DfE Guidelines

While schools are required to consider parental requests for absence from school in term time, it still remains the legal duty of parents to ensure the regular attendance of a child of compulsory school age. Failure to do so could result in the local authority issuing a penalty notice or prosecuting the parents in the magistrates’ court.

DfE guidelines clearly state that absence from school can be taken in exceptional circumstances, and this means that the parent must make a strong case for taking a child out of school in an academic year. Exceptional circumstances must be explained fully to the school who will then consider the request. Any medical appointments/procedures during school time are always authorised but the school does require evidence, such as appointment cards or letters.

Parents should not expect that schools would automatically agree to an absence from school during term time. All requests are at the discretion of the principal and can only be authorised by the principal or the member of staff with designated authority in the absence of the principal.

Illness and Appointments

Please call the office before 8:45 a.m. on 01225 703394 if your child is going to be absent due to illness. If your child has a stomach bug in the form of sickness or diarrhoea, the ’48-Hour Rule’ applies. Please ensure that you seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your child’s health.

What if I'm Late to Collect my Child?

Ring the school office on 01225 703394 to inform us that you will be late and give a time of your arrival. If you are more than 5 minutes late, regardless of whether you have informed us or not, your child will go to our Acorns after-school club. You will be invoiced for this service.

Please remember it is important that you bring your child to school on time and collect them on time.

Appointments and Holidays

Doctors, Dental, and Hospital Appointments

Please try to book any appointments outside school hours. It is really important that interruptions to your child’s learning are kept to a minimum. We understand that there are occasions when appointment times are out of your control.


Holidays will not be authorised during term time. We would be very grateful if you would book your family holidays outside of term time. If you are going on holiday or have another reason for absence, you need to complete an absence request form, available from reception. Please be aware that you may be issued with a penalty notice if you take your child out of school when this has not been authorised.

Request for Absence — Key Points for Parents

  • Request for absence during term time will not be authorised.

  • Any requests for the purpose of visiting family, attending family occasions, or celebrations will not be authorised.

  • Parents are at risk of receiving a penalty notice for unauthorised absence. This is a fine of £60 per parent, per child, if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid within 28 days.