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St Mary’s C of E Primary School

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

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Attendance and Absence Procedures

Why is Attendance Important?
Good attendance is vital if your child is to achieve his/her full potential! 

There is evidence of a very strong link between children’s wellbeing and achievement and their attendance in school. 

A child who misses two school weeks each academic year will have missed approximately a term of learning by the time he or she leaves primary school.

If a child’s attendance falls below 90%, this is classed as ‘persistent absence’ by the Department for Education.


Why is Punctuality Important?
Being late for school makes it hard for your child to learn.

Punctuality gets the day off to a good start, establishes positive patterns for the future, helps your child develop, make and keep friends, leads to self-confidence and success and is good training for adult life and work.

Lateness gets the day off to a bad start can be embarrassing for your child, may damage your child’s confidence, can damage your child’s achievement and disrupts learning for everyone.

If children are 15 minutes late each day, it means they are missing ten days of learning by the end of the year!


Requesting a Leave of Absence
We share an absence policy with other local schools.

All requests for a leave of absence should be made in writing to the Headteacher.  Absence will only be authorised in special circumstances.

Holidays should not be taken in term time and result in a fine.


More information about attendance at school is contained in the School Absence Policy which has been agreed by all the schools in the Hadleigh Pyramid and can be found HERE

All the above is summarised in the Attendance at school - Information Sheet (click to view the Information Sheet)

Lateness and Absence


If your child is absent from school or going to be late for any reason, please contact the school by telephone, ideally between 8.15 and 8.45am, on the morning of the first day of absence.


The number to call is 01473 823268

We also ask that you send in a note explaining the absence on your child's return to school.

Unless we hear from you, we have to record the absence in the register as 'unauthorised'; this may be followed up by the County Education Welfare Officer.


If your child needs to visit the doctor, dentist or hospital during school time, please ensure that the class teacher is informed.


The Headteacher has the discretion to grant up to ten days absence in a school year for a family holiday; although it is not the right of parents to take their children out of school for this purpose. The pyramid schools have agreed the following principles for granting absence for a family holiday:

Absence will only be granted if parents are unable to take a holiday at any other time (e.g. agricultural workers, or where a parent has just returned from a long period away from the family).

Absence will not be granted simply because holidays are cheaper or because it is more convenient;
Absence will only be granted for a family's main holiday - not for a second holiday in the year;

Every application for a holiday in term-time will be considered on its merits. Headteachers will consider every application individually, but leave of absence will not be granted where it coincides with SATs.

The strong home/school partnership combined with a happy and productive school life leads to a very positive attitude to school attendance.