01387 730240

Shawhead Primary School



It is your responsibility as parents to ensure your child attends school regularly. Absences are recorded in school registers and details of attendance are required by the Scottish Executive Education Department to enable them to produce attendance statistics.

If your child is absent for any reason, please send a short, signed and dated note of explanation on his or her return. This will allow us to record an authorised absence. If no explanation is received then the absence is recorded as unauthorised. Any unauthorised absence will be dealt with promptly. Persistent unauthorised absence will be brought to the attention of the school’s Educational Welfare Officer.

The Government has highlighted the importance of school attendance to a child’s development and has required schools to set targets for improved attendance.   Against this background, there is considerable concern at the increasing number of term-time holidays being taken by children at the request of their parents.   The Head Teacher is not in a position to refuse permission to parents for such holidays but it is not the view of the Education Department that these holidays should be officially recognised as “authorised”.   The Department recognises that some parents have difficulties in arranging their own holidays to suit school holiday periods and parents remain free, within reason, to remove their children for holidays during term-time. They should, however, appreciate that prolonged absence from school at any stage is harmful to a child’s education and it is not possible – not fair to other children – to direct teaching time to assist a child who has been on holiday to catch up on what has been missed.

This means that, whilst parents are at liberty to remove children from school for the purposes of family holidays, such absences will be recorded as “unauthorised”.

Parents should continue to inform the school, in writing, of any such holiday plans.

Requests for absences for purposes other than family holidays will be dealt with on their own merits.


Unexplained Pupil Absences

Could parents please ensure that:

  1. That any legitimate absence is notified to the school by telephone before 9am on the first day without fail, and that further calls before 9am are made on every subsequent day of the absence.
  2. That contact telephone numbers – whether for home, for parents at work or for other contacts – are kept up-to-date and are genuinely numbers at one of which a response can be obtained in all normal circumstances.
  3. That the school is kept informed of the progress of an absence and of the likely return date.
  4. That any planned absences are officially notified to the school in advance.

The school will do all it can to safeguard children in this respect, but the system can only work properly if parents carry out their obligations in the matter.

Shawhead Primary School


Telephone: 01387 730240

Head Teacher – Mrs. Karen Little
Present roll: 40
Number of classes: 2

Local Authority

Dumfries and Galloway Council Council Offices
English Street

Telephone: 03 03 3333000

Director Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning

Colin Grant
30 Edinburgh Road

Telephone: 03 03 333 3000