Hatton School & Special Needs Centre

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0113 3200 750 if you have any queries.

Roding Lane South
Woodford Green
Essex IG8 8EU


020 8551 4131

Hatton School & Special Needs Centre

Hatton School: Lighting the fire of curiosity in the mind of every pupil.

  1. Families
  2. Punctuality and Attendance

Punctuality and Attendance


Important Punctuality and Attendance

Information for Parents and Carers.

School Opening Times

Monday - Friday 

8.30am – 3pm

Please note that we operate a soft start from 8.30am but all pupils must be in school by 9am.


Please also note that at 2.30pm we start to support pupils to their buses or to meet their parents at the gate and this usually takes until approximately 3pm.


The Education Act 1996 states that all children should attend school regularly and punctually. Regular attendance is important for your child to make good progress. As a school we have a legal obligation to record if any child is late or absent. If there is not a valid reason, the lateness or absence has to be recorded as unauthorised. If your child fails to attend regularly without good reason, you are guilty of an offence and this could result in prosecution.

If your child is not able to attend you must contact school on the first day of absence. If we do not hear from you we will text you. We then need a written explanation from you when your child returns, if we do get the written explanation or the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence.

Valid reasons for absences are:

  • Illness

Given Hatton’s status as a special school, there are some students on role with complex medical conditions, who are unavoidably and regularly absent from school for medical reasons e.g. regular hospital appointments or frequent illnesses. Where this is the case and it is supported by medical evidence this will be authorised and the school will liaise with the school nurse who will provide advice and support.

Please note that if your child is ill and absent from school for more than 5 days the school needs medical evidence to authorise the absence - this can be a copy of a prescription, GP note or evidence of a hospital admission.

Please note that if your child is ill / absent on the first or last day of a school term the absence will not be authorised without medical evidence, or in the case of flight delays or circumstances beyond your control other appropriate evidence must be provided.

  • Emergency dental or medical appointments

Please try to make routine medical appointments after school or during the holidays; if this is not possible and your child misses school for a medical appointment (for themselves or another family member which creates childcare issues) you must provide the school with evidence of the appointment - a copy of a hospital letter / appointment card etc. It is expected that parents and carers will make every effort to return the child to school after the appointment unless you have discussed the reasons why this is not possible with a senior member of staff before the appointment.

  • Day of religious observance

You should notify the school if your child will be absent for religious observance in advance of the absence.

  • Family bereavement

Whilst we understand how difficult times of bereavement are for families it is often helpful for children to maintain their usual routines as much as possible. If a family bereavement results in the need for a child to travel abroad this must be discussed and authorised by the Headteacher before going away.

Bad Nights

We understand that many of our children have sleep difficulties and that sometimes after a difficult night parents want to keep their child at home for everyone to catch up on sleep. This should not always require a whole days absence; it is expected that once a child has had some sleep for a couple of hours that they will be brought into school and a senior member of staff may contact you to discuss what time you will be able to bring them in. If absences for bad nights are frequent we will involve the school nurse and other agencies for support and advice for families.

School Reluctance

If for any reason your child is reluctant to come to school, please contact us immediately to discuss your concerns. Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons at home or school and it is important that we identify the reason and work together to tackle the problem.

Punctuality and Early Collections 

Learning at Hatton School takes place from 9.00am till 2.30pm but children can be dropped from 8.30am to go to class for morning activities. Most children are transported by Redbridge Transport but if you drop and collect your child you are required to ensure your child gets to school on time ready to be in class by 9.00am and that you arrive promptly to collect them at 2.30pm. Parents and Carers should not request to collect their child before 2.30pm without permission from a senior member of staff. If you want your child to leave school early for a learning related activity / therapy you must write to the Headteacher seeking permission for this.

Holidays in Term-time

Parents are reminded of dates for school holidays and INSET days by letter, on the Hatton School calendar, in Newsletters and they can also be found on the school website. There is no entitlement for you to take your child on holiday during term time. Parents should only ever take family holidays during the school holidays. At Hatton School family holidays in term-time are actively discouraged and families can be fined for taking such family holidays without the permission of the headteacher. Following government guidance in 2014 headteachers retain the discretion to grant leave, but they can only do so in very exceptional circumstances. If the headteacher grants a leave request, it will be for her to determine the length of time that the student can be away from school, weighing up such factors as any previous requests and the child’s attendance record. All requests must be made in writing.