Gipsy Hill

Central to the Gipsy Hill Federation's aims are attendance for our students. Our schools have the following policies:

Kingswood Upper Site, Elm Wood, Paxton, Crawford and Fenstanton

We recommend that children are in line for 8:55am. Teachers come into the playground at this time and start to bring the children to the classrooms. Teachers will register their children from 9:00am. Children arriving in school between 9:01am and 9:09am are recorded as late and given a code L. Children who arrive in school from 9:10am onwards are recorded as late and given a code U – this is an unauthorised absence. 10 or more unauthorised absences in a 3 calendar month period will result in a fine of £60, so it is best to avoid code U. If your child is late due to a medical appointment this is recorded as code M on production of the appointment card. Without an appointment card it will remain as L or U.

Kingswood Lower Site

We recommend that children are in line for 9:10am. Teachers come into the playground at this time and start to bring the children to the classrooms. Teachers will register their children from 9:15am. Children arriving in school between 9:16am and 9:24am are recorded as late and given a code L. Children who arrive in school from 9:25am onwards are recorded as late and given a code U – this is an unauthorised absence. 10 or more unauthorised absences in a 3 calendar month period will result in a fine of £60, so it is best to avoid code U. If your child is late due to a medical appointment this is recorded as code M on production of the appointment card. Without an appointment card it will remain as L or U.

The School Day

Drop-off and Collection

At the beginning and end of the school day, parents are encouraged into the playground. This helps to build up a close relationship between home and school – we want to have good links with all parents. If normal arrangements have to be altered (eg you are delayed or another person is collecting your child) please let us know. This avoids any confusion or upset.

Getting to School

To get to and from school, walking is definitely the best option! There are lots of benefits: it’s healthier than travelling by car, it improves the safety of pedestrians and road-users, and it respects nearby residents and parking regulations. Alternatively, we have bike-racks. If you do need to travel by car, please park wisely.


Kingswood Upper, Paxton, Elm Wood, Crawford & Fenstanton Primary Schools.

The school day starts at 8.55am and finishes at 3.15pm.

  • Early Morning Work: 9.00 - 9.15am
  • Lesson 1: 9.15 - 10.15am
  • Assembly: 10.15 - 10.30am
  • Morning playtimes: 10:30 to 10:45am
  • 10.45-12.30 Lessons 2 and 3
  • Lunch 12:30 to 13:30pm
  • 1.30-3.15 Lessons 4 and 5

Every class has 30 minutes of reading every day

  • Nursery
  • Full Time
  • 09:00 to 15:15 pm
  • Part Time AM:
  • 09:00 to 12:00 pm
  • Part Time PM:
  • 12:15 to 15:15 pm

Kingswood Lower Site

The school day starts at 09:15 am and finishes at 3.30pm.

  • Early Morning Work: 9.15 to 09:30am
  • Lesson 1: 9.30 - 10.30am
  • Assembly: 10.30 - 10.45am
  • Morning playtimes: 10:45 to 11:00am
  • 11:00-12.30 Lessons 2 and 3
  • Lunch 12:30 to 13:30pm
  • 1.30-3.30 Lessons 4 and 5

Every class has 30 minutes of reading every day

Special Leave

Information for parents and carers concerning holidays during term time


Children of school age who are registered at a school must, by law, attend that school regularly. Regular attendance is important, not just because the law requires it but because it is the best way of ensuring that a child makes the most of the educational opportunities which are available to him/her. There may be occasions when a child has to miss school – for example if he or she is unwell. Any other absences should be kept to an absolute minimum. In particular, parents must avoid taking their children out of school during term time in order to go on holiday.

What the Law Says

The law makes it clear that parents do not have any right or entitlement to take a child out of school for the purpose of a term time holiday. The regulations do state that Headteachers may, in certain special circumstances, grant up to 10 school days leave in a school year, but parents should not expect such leave to be granted as a right. Indeed at the federation as of October 2007, in most cases Heads of schools will refuse to authorise leave. The Government’s own guidance on the issue of term-time holidays states:

"Parents should not normally take pupils on holiday during term time".

How we deal with requests for term-time holidays

The federation has a very strict policy about term time holidays. Our policy as of October 2007 is to refuse all applications for holidays during term time. The law clearly states that a parent has no right to expect 10 days of holiday absence and that it is at the discretion of the school.


Why have we made this decision?

We are judged for our attendance figures by OfSTED at each inspection, ad we are required by law to publish our attendance figures to the Department for Children and Schools. As a school an organisation, most sites in the federation are now judged to be outstanding in every category. As a organisation, we do not accept that our children will miss out on their education due to holidays during term time. We are at school for 190 days in the year. That still leaves 175 days for holidays.

How to apply for special leave during term time

Go to the office and ask for a special leave form – this must be done at least 2 weeks in advance of your proposed leave dates. Fill in the form for the attention of your head of school. You should expect to hear from us within 5 working days. Term time holidays will NOT BE GRANTED unless there are exceptional circumstances which might justify it.

What are exceptional circumstances?

It is the decision of heads of school as to what might constitute exceptional circumstances and each request for term time leave will be considered on an individual basis.

Exceptional leave is NOT:

  • Availability of cheap holidays
  • Availability of desired accommodation
  • Poor weather experienced during school holiday periods
  • Overlap with the beginning or end of term.

Exceptional leave MAY be:

  • Grandparent or other close relative is seriously ill – and you must leave in an emergency
  • Significant trauma in the family recently and a holiday will benefit the child – usually backed up by a doctor’s referral
  • A one-off, never to be repeated occasion that can only happen at that time, e.g. wedding/funeral.
  • Educational experience for the child offered by a regional or national organisation, e.g. filming for a TV commercial or a ballet exam.

What if I decide to go anyway? – What will happen?

If your child is out of school for between 1/2 (half) day and 10 days then you will receive a fine of £60 per child. If your child remains out of school for more than 10 days then you risk losing your child's place. This is because we can off-roll if the absence is unauthorised and we don't know where your child is officially. If you do lose your child's place in our school you are then responsible for finding another school place.You would be welcome to reapply to us either directly or through Lambeth.

If the time out school makes your child's attendance drop below 85%, then they are known as 'persistently absent'. This means that the Government has given schools new powers to deal with this through the courts. This means facing possible prosecution. However, Crawford families note Southwark do not issue fines, they take you straight to court.

Please don't take your child out of school during term time, it disrupts your child's learning and you risk penalties - thank you.

But the school has authorised my special leave – what do I need to know?

If we do authorise a special leave of absence under exceptional circumstances, you must understand the likely educational impact upon your child. We will also explain what work your child will miss at school, and agree with you how this may be addressed, either during the holiday or upon your return. Taking work with you on special leave is no substitution for classroom teaching.

If we do authorise your leave you will receive a letter on school headed paper detailing when your child will be absent and the agreed date for return. It will be signed only by head of school. A copy will be kept in the file in the office for our records.

This letter is your proof that the special leave has been authorised – so it is important you keep it safe should you need to show it to our members of staff.



Sickness Absence

We understand that children do become sick and on occasion need to stay at home to recover. This is perfectly acceptable and we ask that parents call in and tell us if this is happening. We can then authorise the absence under code I. If your child is ill for more than 3 days in a row then we require medical evidence in order to authorise any further days of absence. This means that if your child is absent from school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you can call us each day to let us know that they are ill, but if they continue to be ill on Thursday then we will require medical evidence. Another example is if they are ill on Thursday, Friday and Monday, then medical evidence is required from Tuesday. If you do not call in or do not bring in medical evidence the absence is unauthorised and 10 or more unauthorised absences in a 3 calendar month period will lead to a fine of £60. It is always best to phone in and tell us if your child is ill.

Some parents may be asked to bring in medical evidence every time their child is ill, even it is just ½ day. You will be notified by the school in writing if this applies to you.

Medical Evidence

This is not a 'sick note'. Please do not ask your GP to write something just for you. The federation does not require it and your GP will likely say NO or charge you.

All we require is one of the following. These are readily available when you go to your doctor:

  • A copy of an appointment card on or around the date of the absence
  • A copy of any prescription issued on or around the date of the absence
  • Evidence of any telephone consultation that you may have had – including the name of the doctor and the date and time the consultation took place. We advise you to call the surgery on your mobile phone so it is easier for us to see.
  • Written permission from you for the school to make their own enquiries. GP surgeries will not talk to us unless we fax your signature to them. This is due to data protection.

If you would like to talk to someone about your child’s attendance at school we have a large team of people who can help and support you. Please call in at any of the school offices and request an appointment about attendance. We will take your details and get back to you as soon as we can.

Termly Attendance Figures

We will publish termly attendance figures for Kingswood, Paxton, Elm Wood, Fenstanton, Crawford and Glenbrook Primary school below. First publication due end of Autumn Term 2015.

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  • Kingswood Primary School Lower Site
  • Kingswood Primary School Upper Site
  • Elm Wood Primary School
  • Paxton Primary School
  • Crawford Primary School
  • Fernstanton Primary School
  • Glenbrook Primary School
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