The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 states that every parent of a school-age child must: provide an education for their children. We take attendance at school seriously and follow up on unauthorised absences, or continued absence from school, involving other partners if necessary. 

Parents are responsible for ensuring that your child attends school regularly and arrives on time. Parents are responsible for ensuring the safety of your child on their journeys to and from school, except whilst on school transport provided.

All schools or centres have implemented a series of standard procedures to monitor pupil attendance and absence from school and to invite the co-operation of parents in making these changes work. Regular and punctual attendance is linked closely to achievement and school or centre staff would wish to work with parents to ensure that your child can achieve fully. 

The law requires that schools or centres maintain an accurate record of attendance and absence of each pupil and parents are requested to assist in this process by keeping the school/centre informed if your child is to be absent for any reason. Further information relating to absence monitoring is described below:

  • Primary schools note attendance twice a day - morning and afternoon

  • In secondary schools attendance is recorded each period rather than morning and afternoon only and also send texts to inform parents that their child is absent from school

  • In early childhood centres, parents are required to sign a register when dropping your child off at school and when collecting them

  • Where your child’s absence from school is approved, for example a medical appointment or the school or centre is notified of a sickness absence, it is marked as an authorised absence

  • Where an absence is unexplained by the parent the absence is marked as unauthorised

  • If your child is not going to be attending school, please let us know by 9.15am on the first day of absence, explaining the reason. When your child returns to school, please send them with a note, confirming the reason for absence

Where the school or centre are concerned and a child or young person exhibits a pattern of absence, which may warrant investigation. If no contact can be made with the parent or emergency contacts, then appropriate support services will be contacted, for example, social worker, health visitor other family members to request that they visit the child’s home to investigate and report back on their findings.

Illness or accident during school hours

If your child feels unwell during class they should tell the class teacher or practitioner. Where necessary, a first aider will be called to attend the pupil.  Should it be necessary to send your child home, you will be contacted to make arrangements. No pupil should go home without permission and pupils who are being sent home due to illness must be picked up by a parent or other responsible adult, for example, a close relative.

In the event of an accident or illness which requires referral to the local medical practice and/or to the accident and emergency services, parents or the designated emergency contact will be informed. 

Holidays in school time

The Scottish Government has deemed that holidays taken during term time should be recorded as unauthorised absence unless there are special, exceptional circumstances. 

Should you wish to remove your child from school to attend a family holiday you must inform the Head of Establishment. This will be recorded as unauthorised absence, though there may at times be exceptional family circumstances previously discussed with the Head of Establishment. 

Parents are advised to limit the number of holidays taken during term time to minimise disruption to a child’s education. 

For annual holiday dates please see our school holidays page or contact the school or centre. 

School trips and outdoor learning

We think it’s important for children to learn about the world beyond the classroom or playroom and will offer regular opportunities for your child to learn in the school or centre grounds, in the local community and beyond. 

At the start of the school year, we’ll ask you to consent to regular outdoor learning sessions for your child, with medical and emergency contacts being requested. If your child has any conditions we should be aware of, please let us know. 

When school or centre trips are planned we’ll tell you in advance, saying where and when these will take place and you can let us know if you don’t want your child to take part.

We’d ask that your child has suitable outdoor clothing and, for any visits that are further afield, residential or of a more adventurous nature, we’ll again ask for your consent. 

Opportunities for all

Opportunities for all focuses on young people in the 16-19 age group. It provides increased opportunities to those young people most at risk of not entering education, employment or training when they leave school.

We offer these pupils an activity agreement – a programme of activity tailored to their needs which aims to re-engage them and equip them with skills to progress into more formal training or learning.

It is based on partnership working between a wide number of partners, businesses, training and voluntary agencies.

Contact Information

Education Service
Council Headquarters
London Road
Kilmarnock
KA3 7BU
Telephone: 01563 576140
Parental Enquiries: 07392 864105

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