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Attendance and Opening Hours

We are pleased to report that attendance at Portesham Primary School is consistently high with improvements year on year. We operate a certificate incentive scheme which celebrates great attendance and that has generated positive results. A high attendance rate suggests that children are happy in school and enjoy being here.

Our morning registration time is 8.45am. 

The School day ends at 3pm.

We are open 32.5 hours a week during term time.



Our school day starts at 8.45am. Pupils who are not present for registration but arrive before 9.25am will be marked as present but late (L). Any pupil arriving after this time will be marked as an unauthorised absence (U).


If a child is absent without explanation – first day contact process

  • All registers will be checked by 09.30
  • All of the missing child’s contacts will be telephoned until we have a response
  • A text will also be sent
  • A welfare check of the house may be conducted
  • The police or multi-agency safeguarding hub may be called

This is the school’s duty of care and safeguarding for your child.

If your child is going to be absent / late

  • Telephone 01305 871283 (before 08.45 wherever possible) or
  • Email before 08.45 with the reason for the absence.
  • Please state full reason, e.g. temperature, sickness, severe cold. Avoid vague reasons such as ‘ill’, or ‘under the weather’.


We have a 48 hour rule for any sickness/diarrhoea to try to prevent any outbreaks. Please ensure that if your child has suffered with either of these, they remain absent from school for a clear 48 hour period from the last attack.


You can read the latest Covid 19 guidance here:  If your child is well enough, they should attend school. If they have Covid symptoms AND do not feel well enough to come to school, you should keep them home in line with the above guidance. 


Absence Requests

Guidelines state that children are required to attend school regularly in accordance with the requirements of the school. This equates to 100% attendance.


From September 2013, Headteachers do not have the authority to grant leave of absence for holidays. If parents disregard these regulations they will be breaking the law and could face a fine. The school is legally obliged to record unauthorised absences.


If your child needs to be away from school, for any reason, please complete an absence request form (S2) or bring in a copy of the medical appointment letter/card.  Wherever possible, please ensure you give the school at least 2 weeks' notice. Holiday requests will not be unauthorised and may be reported to Dorset County Council (in accordance with Government guidelines), which may result in a penalty notice. The Headteacher will assess requests for leave of absence for exceptional circumstances.


Further information can also be found by viewing our Pupil Attendance Policy on the First Federation Trust website.