It’s not ok to be away!

Attending School Everyday

Good attendance is vital if your child is to achieve their full potential at school. Below is an example of how days off school can impact on overall attendance rates. It is also vital that your child be in school on time every day. If they are late they miss the beginning of lessons and it can be very disruptive for both the Teacher and other pupils in class.

At Saint Mary’s we want to ensure that every child is in school each day. If for any reason your child is absent we can offer support to you by:

  • Organising an appointment with the School Nurse to discuss medical needs
  • The Education Welfare Officer can also offer support and advice on routines to ensure that your child is punctual

The attendance target for our school is 100%.

St Mary’s is at 95.5% attendance against 94.5% national average.

A year has 365 days, 52 weeks or 12 months.

A school year has 195 days, 39 weeks or 6 half terms.

Five days in each school year are training days for teachers (= INSET days)

Pupils attend school therefore for 190 days.

A school day is divided into two sessions. A pupil therefore should attend school for 380 sessions.

  • One day off per school year means that a pupil has about 99.5% attendance
  • Ten days off per school year means that a pupil has about 95% attendance
  • Twenty days off per school year means that a pupil has about 90% attendance
  • 90% attendance means 4 whole weeks off school
  • 17 days off school every year means that you will probably obtain a whole grade lower than you are really capable of

This will have a negative impact on not only their attainment but also their ability to make friendships and feel part of the class.

Poor school attendance can result in:

  • Academic underachievement
  • Difficulty in making or keeping friendship groups
  • Loss of child’s confidence and self-esteem

Research has proved that children who have poor school attendance when at Primary Schools are more likely to truant when in secondary schools.

Habits of poor attendance and lateness in school are often repeated in working life. We want our children to learn early on the importance of punctuality and school attendance. How many employers would allow us to have a day off each week? Parental attitudes towards punctuality and attendance are bound to influence children’s attitudes.

What can parents do to help?

If you feel that your child is unhappy at school and that this is affecting their attendance, please contact us as quickly as possible so that we can work together to resolve any issues.

  • Ensure that your child arrives at school on time with the necessary equipment for the day
  • If at all possible please keep medical and dental appointments outside of the school day
  • Only allow days off for genuine illness – you know your child!
  • Have a look at the termly attendance letters we send home for attendance below 95%
  • Do not take your child on holiday during term time

Holidays during term time

There are 190 school days in a year and therefore 175 days of holidays and weekends. Taking your child out of school for 2 weeks (10 school days) will reduce their attendance to 94% before any account is taken for illness.

The law says that parents do not have the right to take their children out of school during term and we only authorise holiday during school time in exceptional circumstances. Any holiday taken during term time will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and could result in parents being fined by the Local Authority.

Medical/dental appointments

We realise that some appointments are sometimes unavoidable and ask that proof of appointment is provided.

Absence Reporting

If your child is unwell and not able to attend school, please telephone to inform us by 9.15 am on 01472 357982. Please do not send your child if he/she is genuinely unwell.

If your child becomes ill at school we will use the phone numbers you have given us to contact someone who can take your child home. In cases of serious illness or accident we will act in loco-parent is to seek urgent medical aid and will contact you as soon as possible. Parents should keep the school informed of changes to telephone numbers and emergency contacts.

If you are unsure whether to keep your child off school, please talk to the School Office or a Learning Mentor for advice. Or you can visit the NHS Website links below.

Infectious illnesses in children

NHS Guide to Childhood Illnesses

Self-Care Guide to Childhood Illnesses

Late Children

Registers close at 9 am. Should arrival be after this time the parent/carer and child must report to the school office so that the child is recorded as being present and an unauthorised absence is avoided.


Attendance Policy