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Absence, Illness & Lateness



At Hillcrest we firmly believe that every day counts.  


We expect all pupils to attend school every day and arrive ready to learn at 8:50am. 


No holidays will be authorised during term time, in accordance with national and local authority guidelines.  The only absences that will be authorised will be for exceptional circumstances*. This is at the discretion of the Head Teacher and must be requested in writing using the school's Absence Request Form (available to download here or pick up from the leaflet rack in the school lobby).  A single day will be authorised for any religious observance.  Any unauthorised absence may result in a fixed term penalty of £60 per parent, per child. If a pupil's attendance falls below 85% they will automatically receive support from the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO)


You can download Bristol City Council's leaflet about school attendance at the foot of the page.


* Circumstances that are not considered exceptional include: family holidays to visit relatives, cheap holidays during term time, holidays that fit around work schedules, birthdays, visiting relatives, resting after a late night, any form of shopping. 



Absence & Illness

If your child is unwell please text us on the Arbor parent portal, or call 0117 3772440 and leave a message on the absence line, as early as possible on the first day of absence, clearly stating their name, class and the nature of the illness.


(Evidence may be required - Doctor's note etc). 


Unless arranged otherwise, please text or call the office on each subsequent day of absence.


Should my child come to school?

See the NHS guidance Is my child too ill for school? You can also download the Government guidelines that we follow at Hillcrest on infection control in schools HERE.  It's an alphabetical list of infectious illnesses and conditions and tells you whether the child needs to stay away from school.

We are most often asked about diarrhoea and vomiting. As tummy bugs spread so easily, the affected child must not return to school until a clear 48 hours after the last instance of either.  



You can find guidance HERE. Note that the advice for adults and for children is slightly different.


In summary, for children:

  • Children  who are unwell and have a high temperature (over 38 degrees) should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can come back to school when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.


  • There is no requirement to test for COVOD but child who has a positive test result should stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test (Day 0). After 3 days (on Day 4) they can return to school, if they feel well enough and do not have a high temperature, even if they are still testing positive. 



Does your child need medication during the school day?

This refers to ALL medications - prescribed medicines, over the counter medicines, creams and ointments, cough sweets, sun cream etc.


If at all possible, please give your child their medication before and after school (if, for example, they need three doses of an antibiotic in 24 hours).  


If you would like them to have a non-prescribed medicine during the day you are welcome to drop into school to give it.


If your child needs a prescribed medication during the school day please deliver it to the office in person and fill in a form - 'Administration of Meds' (download below or pick one up from the office).  We have nine members of staff trained to give medication and we will store the medicine securely in the Medical Room.



For everyone's safety, please do not send children in with ANY medication to take themselves, not even cough sweets, sun cream or Vaseline.

(The only exception is an inhaler, by special arrangement. See * below.)



Chronic conditions

If your child has a long term medical condition (eg, asthma) we will work with you to set up a health care plan.



* If an agreement is made between parent and class teacher that they are mature enough, a Yr 4,5 or 6 child can carry and start taking responsibility for their own inhaler. HOWEVER, we do still need a spare in case it is lost, empty or forgotten.



Taking your child out of school

If you are taking your child out of school during the school day for any reason please make sure you sign them out on the screen in the lobby  (and sign them back in if they return later in the day).  


Ideally, medical appointments should be made outside school hours but, if this is not possible, please bring in an appointment card or letter.


Arriving late

Arriving on time, at 8.50am, is important so that your child and the rest of their class have a calm, uninterrupted start to their learning day. Children arriving at school after registration should be brought to the office by an adult and signed in, stating the reason for lateness.

Any pupils arriving after 8.50am will be registered as 'L' for late.


Pupils arriving after 9.15am will be marked 'U' for unauthorised.

Where the school does not receive a message for an absence then pupils will be marked 'o.' This is also an unauthorised absence mark. Persistent unauthorised absences (8 in a 10 week period) can lead to a penalty notice of £60 per parent per child being issued. This can quickly mount up as this amount rises to £120 should it not be paid within 21 days.