Frequently Asked Questions

The majority of our uniform can be purchased from supermarkets such as Tesco or Asda.

Sweatshirts, fleeces, t-shirts, shorts and book bags featuring the school logo are available from Patricia’s, 13 Trinity Square, South Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford, CM3 5JX  Tel: 01245 328847 Patricia’s School Uniform (online)  You can read our School Uniform Policy to find out more.

If you have any queries regarding uniform, please contact the school office.

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to a free school meal every day through Universal Free School Meals Funding.

For  children in Years 3 to 6, the cost of the meal with effect from 26th February 2024 is £2.50 per day.  To be eligible for free school meals you must be receiving one of the following:

  • Income support or Income-based Job Seekers Allowance;
  • Child Tax Credit with an annual taxable income of less than £16,190;
  • Pension Guarantee Credit;
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
  • Universal Credit, with a household income of £7,400 or less (after tax and not including any benefits you get).

To apply for a Free School Meal for your child please visit:

Free school meals – Essex County Council

and complete a short application.  Alternatively visit the School Office who will advise you further.

If your child is in Reception or Year 1 or 2 and you are in receipt of any of the above, you can also use this application to secure additional school funding for your child.

Adverse Weather Closures

If we do decide that we need to close the school as a result of bad snow or bad road conditions this is not a decision that we take lightly. Adverse weather really does mean ‘severe’ as opposed to a slight flurry. If circumstances are such that you think there is a possibility that we may be forced to close either first thing in the morning or during the day, we would please ask you to check the following:

Come to this school’s website to see if a message has been posted on the home page.

Radio Broadcasts

You can tune into the local radio stations listed below where closure information will be broadcast on a regular basis (note that BBC Essex’s website is updated before any broadcasts). However, it can take us up to 20-30 minutes to get connected, and then the message will only be broadcast in the next ’round’ of announcements.

BBC Essex: 103.5 FM / 729 AM

Dream 100: 100.2 FM

Early Closure

If weather conditions should deteriorate badly once the children are already in school please first check the school’s website to check for any new message that has been posted on the home page. Please try to avoid calling the school office for information. It is very difficult to function with such a high volume of incoming calls.

If we decide we must close early, we will inform the radio stations (again, BBC Essex will update their website before any broadcasts take place) and also text & email parents.

The School Day

The School hours are 8.40 am to 3.10 pm

  • Morning session: 8.40 am – 12.30 pm
  • Morning break: 10.15 am – 10.30 am
  • Lunch break: 12.30 pm – 1.20 pm
  • Afternoon session: 1.20 pm – 3.10 pm
  • Afternoon break: (infants only) 2.35 pm – 2.45 pm

Playground gates are opened at 8.30 am when a member of Staff will be on duty and children can go straight into their classrooms.

The School Office in open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 12.30 pm & 1.20 pm to 4.00 pm.

Latchingdon School Term Dates – 2023-2024


  • School doors open at 8.30 am. Morning registration is at 8.40 am. This is the time your child must be in the classroom, so you need to ensure your child is coming through the school gate by 8.40 am.
  • It is important to be on time as the first few minutes of the school day are often used to give out instructions or organise schoolwork for the rest of the day.
  • After the close of registration (9.10 am) your child will be marked as unauthorised absence in line with the Department for Education guidance.
  • We will let you know if we have concerns about your child’s punctuality.
  • Children who remain uncollected at the end of school time will be referred to a place of safety if not collected or the school contacted by school closing time.

As a school we aim to:

  • Maintain an attendance rate of a minimum of 96%
  • Maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance.

Good attendance is important because:

  • There is a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance
  • Children with high attendance make better progress, both socially and academically
  • Children with high attendance find school routines and school work easier to cope with
  • Children with high attendance find learning more satisfying
  • Children with high attendance have an easier transfer to secondary school

As a parent you can help us by:

  • You should call in the morning for every absence with the reason and tell us when the child will return. The telephone number is 01621 740328.
  • Dental and doctor’s appointments should be booked out of school hours or during school breaks
  • Provide a note explaining the reason for absence on your child’s return to school after an illness
  • Keep us updated by telephone or letter if your child has an extended period of absence due to illness

We shall:

  • Follow up unexplained absences by phone calls and letters as soon as possible
  • Inform parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in newsletters, the school brochure and the Home-School agreement
  • Publish our attendance rate in the school prospectus
  • Reward good attendance
  • Publish your child’s attendance rate on her/his annual school report
  • We will let you know if we have concerns regarding your child’s attendance
  • If we continue to have concerns we will make a referral to the Education Welfare Officer

Each year we publish our school attendance figures on our website.

Authorised Absence

Some absences are allowed by law and are known as “authorised absences”. For example: if a child is ill, family bereavement, religious observance.

We realise that there are rare occasions when there might be a particular problem that causes your child to be absent. Please let us know and we shall try to deal with it sympathetically.

Unauthorised Absence

There are times when children are absent for reasons, which are not permitted by law. These are known as “unauthorised absences”. Examples of unauthorised absence are:

  • “I’m waiting on a delivery.”
  • “I’m shopping or for a hair cut.”
  • “We are going for a family day out.”
  • “It is my child’s birthday.”
  • “We are sleeping in after a late night.”
  • Holidays during term
  • If there is no explanation for the absence or where the reason for the absence is considered unsatisfactory

Unauthorised Absences have to be reported to the Local Authority. The EWO (Education Welfare Officer) may contact you and consider taking legal action against you if your child has unauthorised absences.

Term Time Leave of Absence

As from 1st September, 2013 the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 have been amended. All references to family holidays and extended leave have been removed, together with the right for parents to apply for up to 10 days.

Therefore, the school will no longer be permitted to grant leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Taking your child out of school during term time could be detrimental to your child’s educational progress. A pupil who takes 10 days absence will only attain 94.7% attendance in the year. 10 days absence also means the pupil will miss 50 hours of education.

If the absence is not authorised and the holiday is taken the case will be referred to the Education Welfare Service which could result in a fine.

Please remember that the more time your child misses from school, the more difficult it is for them to catch up with their work. Valuable learning time is lost.

Leave of Absence Application

NHS Poster – Advice on Childhood Illnesses

NHS – Is my child too ill for school?

Provide Children and Family Services

Medicine Permission

Local NHS experts have joined forces with Essex County Council to produce an at-a-glance guide to 17 childhood illnesses including Chicken Pox, Glandular Fever, Ringworm and Tonsillitis.

The poster above highlights key symptoms of common illnesses which are traffic light colour coded to indicate whether children should go to school or stay at home.

Illnesses in the green category – for example colds and conjunctivitis – are those where children should continue to go to school.

The amber category is when an illness could be catching and there are some restrictions on school attendance.

Children should not go to school and should see a GP if the illness falls into the red category. Red category illnesses are German measles, Impetigo, Measles and Whooping Cough.

The poster also advises parents on where they should first seek treatment, either from their local pharmacist or their GP.

There is guidance on when to consult a GP if symptoms persist and advice on when it should be safe for a child to return to school if they have a particular illness.

Parents are Welcome

Arrangements can by made to visit the school by appointment with the Headteacher, who will be pleased to talk to parents and show them around the school.

Parents of children due to begin in the Reception class will be invited to a meeting with the Class Teacher prior to them beginning school.   Children are also invited to attend sessions in the classroom in the Summer Term.

Meeting are held by Class Teachers at the beginning of the year to discuss the curriculum.

Informal afternoons are arranged for parents to look at work around the school and to have refreshments.  There are further opportunities throughout the year for parents to visit the school to watch performances and class presentations.

Parents’ consultation evenings are held in the Autumn and Summer Terms.  An annual written report is sent to parents at the end of Spring Term.

Class Teachers are available to speak to parents without an appointment on Fridays between 3.15 pm and 3.45 pm.  Parents are welcome to make appointments at other times.

Latchingdon C of E Primary School sees teaching and learning as a process of co-operative teamwork and welcomes and encourages the involvement of parents and other members within the school community.  All adults who work regularly with the children have had appropriate checks carried out in line with DfES policy.

As required by the 1988 Education Reform Act, parents are entitled to view school documents.  Parents should contact the school in advance if they wish to make an appointment.