Our school aims to meet its obligations with regards to school attendance by:
· Promoting good attendance and reducing absence, including persistent absence
· Ensuring every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled
· Acting early to address patterns of absence
We will also support parents to perform their legal duty to ensure their children of compulsory school age attend regularly, and will promote and support punctuality in attending lessons.
Every child should aim to achieve an overall attendance of 97%+ each academic year. Studies have shown that poor attendance is linked to poor attainment. At St Mary’s we want all our children to Enjoy and Achieve.
It is a parents’ legal responsibility to ensure the regular full-time attendance of their children.
Please click the link to view our Educational Neglect Policy and Attendance Policy.
The length of St Mary's School week is 32 hours and a half hours.
In September 2023 school will change it's opening time to 8.45am and close at 3.15pm this will mean school will be open for 32 and 1/2 hours a week.
Children are expected to be present on the school premises five minutes before school starts in both morning and afternoon. Parents are asked to ensure, if possible, that their children do not arrive on the premises before 8.40 am.
Our School Day
Entry into School 8.40 am
School Starts at 8.50 am
School finishes at 3.15 pm
KS1 and Foundation Stage 8.50 am to 12.00 noon
KS2 8.55 am to 12.00 noon
KS1 morning break 10.45 am - 11.00 am
KS2 morning break 10.30 am - 10.45 am
Foundation Stage and KS1 12.00 noon to 1.15 pm
KS2 12.00 pm to 1.00 pm
Afternoon Session - KS1 and Foundation Stage
1.15 pm to 3.15 pm
Afternoon Session - KS2
1.00 pm to 3.15 pm
All absences must be reported by 9.30am on the first day of absence. If we receive no contact from yourself, we will endeavour to contact you via the school texting system or telephone you direct. If we are unable to make contact with you by telephone, a letter informing you of the absence will be sent out and a reply slip included for you to complete and return to school. Consequently, all absences without reason will be marked as unauthorised on your child’s attendance record. School and the School Health Advisor are able to offer advice and/or leaflets on exclusions due to illness e.g:
1. Chicken pox (child can return once the spots are healed over)
2. Diarrhoea and Vomiting (24/48 hours after last episode)
3. Coughs and colds (no absence required)
4. Head lice (no exclusion, treatment should be completed without absence
Furthermore, if your child is absent for two or more days there may be occasions when school requires parents to provide proof of illness; this can be in the form of a doctor’s letter, copy of prescription and or medication, which clearly show the dates corresponding with the absence. Certain circumstances may result in a home visit; where possible we will contact you prior to this to agree a convenient time.
Please ensure that school has your most up to date contact details; home address, current mobile number and Email address.
Pupils are required to attend school for 190 days each year.
Where possible, please make medical appointments outside of school hours. However, we understand at times this is sometimes difficult, on these occasions please provide school with a medical card or letter. A medical appointment DOES reduce your child’s percentage attendance.
Please also be aware we are not able to authorise siblings being taken out of school when they do not have an appointment. These absences will be unauthorised.
Children are required to attend school every day. Please be aware that absences for ‘snow’ ‘rain’ or ‘extreme cold weather’ days do affect your child’s overall attendance if they do not attend and if school make the decision to remain open during adverse weather conditions, absences will be unauthorised.
School acknowledge that there are occasions when children will be required to attend sporting tournaments, competitions or sporting exams during term time. Proof of this must be provided to school. School are unable to authorise competitions that are held over the weekend but where parents choose to travel to the venue on a school day.
Acting/ Modelling Applications
Whilst school supports extra-curricular activities, children who are required to attend auditions, assignments or productions during the school day, must put their application in writing to school, allowing at least one school week for the request to be processed. Each individual application will be considered. Governors agreed that a maximum of 5 days per term may be granted, taking in to account; any attendance concerns, the impact on the child’s academic progress and any events occurring at the time of the request.
School encourage and support our children and their families to celebrate religious events, however children are expected to be in school every day leading up to religious festivals and back in school immediately after. If parents keep their children off school for longer than is entitled these days will not be authorised. School will only authorise the date of the festival, a maximum of 2 days per academic year.
Holidays in Term Time
Holidays MUST NOT be booked prior to requesting permission from school, the application must be made at least 6 weeks before the intended departure.
The amendment to regulations is still in place making it clear that the Head Teacher ‘may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.’ This includes visits to countries of origin. Penalty notices will be requested by school.
If more than one holiday is taken during the academic year and a Penalty Notice has been previously requested, school will notify the Local Authority. This may result in parent/carers being prosecuted direct through the courts
Research shows that a break of one week or more from school can often lead to children falling behind in their work and that some children never catch up.
Please click the link to view the School Holiday Calendar.
School may at times request that a Penalty Notice, through the Education Attendance Service, is issued to a parent/carer, this will only be used when parent/carers have been informed of our concerns, offered support but do not work with us and/or show continued and sustained improvement. Penalty Notices will be requested for the following reasons;
1. Persistent unauthorised late arrival to school
2. Unauthorised absences were no reasons have been provided by the parent/carer or the reason is not accepted by school
3. Holidays during term time
Parents must from the 1st September 2013, pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days, this is per parent, per child’.