Theydon Bois Primary School

Orchard Drive, Epping, Essex, CM16 7DH

01992 813083


The School Day

Foundation and KS1 (infants): 8.55am to 12.00noon, 1.00pm to 3.15pm

KS2 (juniors: 8.55am to 12.15pm, 1.10pm to 3.15pm

All children have a 15 minute break each morning. KS1 have a 10 minute break in the afternoon. Actual hours of teaching per week, excluding registration, breaks and assemblies, are 21 hours and 10 minutes for KS1 and 23 hours and 50 minutes for KS2.

Children should arrive between 8.45am and 8.55am and proceed straight to class. We ask that once parents have seen their child  into the playground, they leave as quickly as possible. 


  • Registration takes place at the beginning of each session. Children who arrive after registration has taken place must report to the school office and sign in the late book before joining their class. If parents collect a child before a session ends, they must report to the school office and complete the signing out book.

The end of the day

  • Infant children stay with their teacher at the classroom door until they see their parents. Juniors go into the playground. If the parent is not in the playground, children are told to go back to their teacher until collected. Any children who remain uncollected are looked after in the medical room until someone arrives for them.


When a child is unwell or unable to attend school parents or carers must contact the school via an ex-directory automated telephone line – 01992 813083 option 1.  This is purely for reporting absences and should not be used for any other purpose.  This must be done on every day that a child is absent.

  • Each person reporting their child’s absence will be asked for the following information:-
  • Child’s class
  • Child’s name
  • Caller’s name and relationship to the child
  • Reason for Absence
  • The current password
  • The school requests medical evidence (such as appointment cards or prescribed medication) be provided to cover all absences. Failure on the part of the parent to provide such medical evidence, will result in absences being recorded as unauthorised and referral to the Missing Education and Child Employment Service will be considered.


Absence during term time

The staff and Governing Body of Theydon Bois Primary School firmly believe that in order for a child to be successful at school, regular attendance is important.  There is a proven link between regular attendance and attainment, and the negative impact of poor attendance on attainment.


School Attendance and the Law 

Under the 1996 Education Act, parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their children attend school regularly and punctually. Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken against them by the Local Authority. 

The register is a legal document and schools must, under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 take a register at the start of the morning session, and again during the afternoon session. Since September 2006, schools have been required to use statutory registration codes (see appendix A). 

Under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006, only the school (and not parents/carers) can authorise an absence. Where the reason for a pupil’s absence cannot be established at the time the register is taken, that absence shall be recorded as unauthorised. If a reason for absence is provided by the parent/carer, the school may decide to grant leave of absence which must be recorded as authorised using the appropriate national code. 

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013 have removed all references to family holidays and leave of absence shall not be granted unless an application had been made in advance and the Head teacher considers that leave of absence should be granted due to exceptional circumstances. Head teachers no longer have the discretion to authorise up to ten days of absence. This discretion has been removed by the aforementioned Regulations (2013). Whilst the Head teacher will consider all requests on a case-by-case basis, parents must be aware that requests will normally be refused. 

Where a family chooses to take a holiday during term time, the absence will be coded as unauthorised (G code) and a Penalty Notice may be issued to each parent for each child (where 5 or more days of unauthorised absence are recorded as a result).

 The DfE have not provided any guidelines as to what they would consider to be exceptional circumstances. This is solely at the discretion of the Head teacher. Where possible, families of schools should look to have a consistent approach to all leave of absence requests – to try to ensure that requests for siblings who attend different schools are met with the same response by each Head teacher who receives a request. 

If leave of absence is taken without the request having been agreed, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. This may result in the Local Authority issuing a Penalty Notice, in accordance with the Essex Code of Conduct (£120 per parent, per child / £60 if paid within 21 days), where there have been 10 sessions or more of unauthorised absence recorded. If this penalty is not paid the Local Authority will instigate legal proceedings against the parent/carer in the Magistrates Court. 

In compliance with the Education Act 436A (Chapter 2 Part 6) the school will, after making appropriate checks, report all Children Missing from Education to the Local Authority, Missing Education and Child Employment Service, who has a duty to investigate the whereabouts of such children and negotiate their prompt return to suitable education.