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John Donne Primary School

John Donne Primary School

Late Collection Policy


  • To minimise the possibility of late collection
  • To establish clear procedures in the event that a pupil is not collected at the end of the school day.
  • To follow up the non-collection to minimise the possibility of it happening again.

Collection Arrangements

It is the parent/carer’s responsibility to ensure the school is notified immediately when it becomes apparent that they or the person collecting the child may be late. If a parent/carer wishes for their child to be collected by somebody who does not have parental responsibility for him/her, whether this is a regular arrangement, emergency or a one-off situation, the parent/carer must inform the school office verbally or in writing.

It is equally important that the relevant staff are informed that a parent has notified the school of late collection and arrangements made for the care of the pupil.

Suitable person / Identification of Individuals

It is essential that parents nominate a responsible person to pick up their child if they are unable to do so themselves. It may not be deemed appropriate for another primary school aged child to have this responsibility and it would be a judgement call based on the age and maturity of any other young person under the age of 18 (i.e. when the person becomes an adult).

If staff feel that the person collecting a child may be under the influence of either alcohol or drugs and the safety and wellbeing of the child may be compromised, the Designated Person or a member of the schools Senior Management Team must be contacted. They will then assess the situation and if they feel that the parent/carer appears unable to take responsibility for the child they will take appropriate action. This could include contacting another person named on the emergency contact list or suitable member of the family to collect the child. If another emergency contact or family member is not available then Children’s Social Care or the Police may need to be contacted.

Relationship breakdown of parents / guardians

The school has a clearly defined procedure which is followed in the event of the relationship between a child’s parents or guardians breaking down.

Unless there is a court order, of which the school must have a copy, or there are any identified child protection issues preventing one parent’s contact with a child, we are unable to deny access.

Procedure to be followed if a pupil is not collected

John Donne Primary School recognises that it has a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils and that this duty extends to having arrangements in place for dealing with children who are not collected at the end of a school day, or at the end of an authorised activity.

On admission to the school, parents should supply:

  • Names and full addresses of parents/carers (and confirmation of parental responsibility);
  • Home and work telephone numbers;
  • Mobile phone numbers, where appropriate;
  • Two emergency contacts who may be called in the event of the parents/carers being unobtainable or in the case of an emergency

It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to ensure this information is updated annually or whenever circumstances change.

The protocol is highlighted in the school’s Newsletter at the beginning of the new school year and this policy can be accessed via the school website.

If a pupil is not collected at the end of the school day, or after attending after school clubs, it is important to establish with the pupil what their understanding of the arrangement was and try to contact anyone on the child’s emergency contact list if parents are unavailable.

The teacher or appropriate member of staff is to:

  1. Check whether the child is usually in an after school activity that night and have just forgotten to attend (where applicable).
  2. Check with office staff to see whether a phone call or note has been received. 
  3. If a parent has not made contact or arrived by 3.30.p.m. or 15 minutes after the end of an after school club, the school will make every effort to contact the parent. If the parent cannot be reached the emergency contacts provided will also be called. Contact numbers are kept in the school office and the headteacher’s office. Please ensure that the office staff are aware that you are trying to contact a parent. The after school club will also have a register containing all contact details including parents and emergency contact numbers.
  1. If an answer phone is used please leave a short message to say the date and time, that you are ringing, that you still have X with you and they must contact the school immediately to say when the pupil is to be collected and by whom.
  1. If a parent has not made contact or arrived after an additional 15 minutes, a further phone call should be made and, where available, a message left to inform the parents that the school will contact Children’s Social Care service if no call is received within 10 minutes.
  1. In the case of a pupil not being collected and no contact being made WITHIN 45 MINUTES OF THE USUAL COLLECTION TIME, the school will ring Southwark Social Care team to discuss the situation and ask for advice. This will allow the Social Care Team to be aware of the possibility that they may need to make arrangements for the alternative care of the child. For information which may need to be passed on, see Appendix B. 


If a pupil is picked up late please record this in the late collections book, or other appropriate place, giving reasons for the late pick-up.

Once the situation has been resolved it is important to establish how and why the circumstance arose and to ascertain what the parent must do to avoid a recurrence of this situation. This emergency situation must be recorded and reported to the Designated Person at the school.

It will also be necessary to review the procedures used to ensure that they worked smoothly and if necessary to amend for future incidents.

Useful contact numbers

Call the Social Care duty desk on 020 7525 1921
(Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

For out of hour’s enquiries, please call the council switchboard on 020 7525 5000 and choose the appropriate option.