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St Mary’s Catholic Primary School ‘Faith in Education’



The importance of good attendance and punctuality cannot be overemphasised.  We know that pupils who attend school regularly and engage with all the learning opportunities presented to them are successful learners. Education is vital to ensure children have the chance to achieve their potential in life.  Children only get one education; every day missed by choice, is missed with the knowledge that there is a potential impact on children’s education and future. Therefore we expect high levels of attendance from all our pupils.

Parents/carers should also ensure that their children arrive on time each day.  Children arriving late to school can miss important instructions and they disrupt the work of the teacher and other pupils in their class.

Celebrating Good Attendance 

Our attendance figure has been in the top 10% of schools nationally for the last 3 years – this is something to celebrate and feel very proud of.   In order to maintain this high standard we are aiming for all children to achieve at least 97% attendance.  Those children who achieve 97% or above attendance will be entered into a termly prize draw for a £10 voucher.  Those children who achieve 98% or higher attendance across the whole school year will be entered into an even bigger prize draw and will receive an attendance certificate. You can check the weekly attendance of your child's class by hovering over Attendance on the homepage.  Pupils who fall into the persistent absence category, attendance is below 90%, may be referred to external support agencies who will work with families to improve their child’s attendance at school.

 Absence from School

We recognise that there may be times when your child is unable to attend school.  If your child is to be absent from school you must notify the school either by speaking to a member of staff in the office or using the answering service provided by the school – 0191 2518080.    If we don't receive notification from you as to the reason for your child's absence it will be recorded as unauthorised.

If your child is absent due to sickness and diarrhoea, please keep them off school for 48 hours from the time of their last episode.  This is to prevent the spread of illness among other children and is in line with NHS guidelines. If you are unsure as to whether or not your child should be in school during or after they have an infectious illness (e.g. chicken pox, slapped cheek), please call the school office who will be able to offer advice.  You can also refer to the NHS guidance documents below.

We strongly discourage holiday during term time.  If you choose to take your child out of school for a holiday during term time you must complete an Absence Request form which can be downloaded below or obtained from the school office

Absence Requests

As a parent / carer, you can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education by not allowing your child to miss school for anything other than an exceptional/ unavoidable reason.

Parents are required under the Education Act (1996) to ensure their child attends school regularly. There is no automatic right to take a child out of school during term time.  Amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 make it clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.


Governors have agreed that no leave of absence for holidays will be granted at St Mary’s School as they do not constitute exceptional circumstances.  If you chose to take your child out of school for a holiday the absence will be recorded as an ‘unauthorised’ on your child’s record.

We expect parents/carers to be open and honest about the reasons for their child’s absence and report absences to us appropriately.  If we believe that the reasons for a child’s absence has been misreported it will be recorded as unauthorised and the duty and responsibility will then fall to parents/carers to provide medical or other evidence to verify the reason for absence.

If your absence request is for a sporting event or religious observance, authorisation may be granted by the Headteacher on submission of the absence request form.