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St Mary's
Church of England Primary School

A learning community dedicated to building
respectful and responsible citizens and empowering all learners.

Attendance Matters

Our Vision

'We believe, we achieve, we succeed in God's family.'

Moments matter, attendance counts!

The Government has launched a new national campaign to remind parents and carers of the importance of school attendance. You will be seeing it on tv, social media and hearing about it on the radio.  We regularly remind you of the importance of good punctuality and attendance and the negative impact poor attendance has on your child’s educational attainment and social and emotional development. In 2018/19, just 40% of persistently absent (PA) children in KS2 achieved expected KS2 standards, compared with 84% of pupils who were regular attenders.


The NHS and the Chief Medical Officer say it is usually appropriate for parents and carers to send their children to school with mild respiratory illnesses, including general cold symptoms  like a minor cough, runny nose or sore throat. Please refer to the following link for further information


From the first day of term to the last, the small moments in a school day make a real difference to your child. #AttendanceCounts so please ensure your child attends school regularly.  Mrs Walker and Mrs Eames deal with school attendance, if you have any concerns or need any support, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.

Why it is important to attend school regularly?

ATTENDANCE is EVERYONE'S responsibility - the same as SAFEGUARDING.


Regular attendance at school promotes pupils’ well-being and gives them the best chance of learning and reaching their potential. Pupils should attend school every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.


Good attendance is important because pupils:

  • get on better with learning and other children;
  • cope better with school routines, work and friendships;
  • find learning easier because they do not miss out;
  • are more successful moving between primary school, secondary school, higher education and employment or training;
  • are known to be safe and well by us.


Research shows a direct link between high attendance and doing well at school. All children have the right to an education. We encourage and expect 100% attendance for all pupils. 


Contact details for attendance matters:             
General attendance questions:01245 320505
Absence line, for reporting absence:01245 320505 option 2


Attendance administrator:   

Kelly Eames
Senior Leader for Attendance:           Theresa Walker (Headteacher & Designated Safeguarding Lead)
Named Governor :Robin Taverner (Safeguarding Governor)


We will:

  • tell pupils and parents the importance of being at school;
  • check that pupils are at school every day;
  • follow up and check the absence of persistent non-attenders;
    • phone home on the first day of absence to check where absent children are
    • follow up an explained absence by phone call and email, and meetings for persistent absentee
  • aim for an attendance rate of at least 97%;
  • monitor school attendance data of individual and groups and target our support towards removing barriers to attendance for individuals and groups who need it most;
  • discuss poor attendance with parents to understand any barriers the pupil or family might be facing;
  • facilitate support for families to help remove identified barriers to attendance. This could include support through the local authority attendance team, access to early help, such as parenting service or Social Care;
  • where absent persists and support offered is not being engaged with, we will communicate the consequences to parents. 
  • when all avenues of support have been exhausted and support has not worked or being engaged with, the Local Authority can enforce attendance through a statutory intervention or prosecution to protect a pupil's right to an education;
  • share and discuss attendance data with the Governing Board on a termly basis.



  • by law, must ensure that their child attends school;
  • should arrange dental and doctor’s appointments out of school hours or during school holidays, whenever possible;
  • make sure that their child arrives on time at 8.45am as the classroom doors are open;
    • or if they arrive after 9am, sign-in at the school office;
  • should contact the school on the first day their child is away from school.


Pupils should arrive and be collected from school on time:

  • registers close at 9am, for all children from Reception to Year 6.  Pupils can go straight to their classroom from 8.45am;
  • arrival after 9.15am is an 'unauthorised absence' late arrival can cause children to feel anxious or upset;
  • we take the view there are no late children, only late parents;
  • we contact parents of pupils who have patterns of lateness to talk about how to arrive and/or be collected on time.

Attendance impacts attainment and progress

School Absences


If your child is absent from school please:

  • Contact the school on the first day of absence before 9.00am - this can be done via Study Bugs or by telephoning the school office on 01245 320505;
  • If no one is available to take your call then please leave a message;
  • Contact the school on every further day of absence, again before 9.00am;
  • Ensure that your child returns to school as soon as possible.

Late Procedure


Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If a child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence. Good time-keeping is a vital life skill which will help our children as they progress through their school life and out into the wider world.


The school day starts at 8.45 am when children can begin to come into school.  Registers are taken at 9.00am and your child will receive a late mark ‘L’ if they are not in by that time.  Children arriving after 9.00am are required to come in to school via the school office if accompanied by a parent or carer, the parent/carer will sign them into our ‘Late Book’ and provide a reason for their lateness which is recorded. The school may send home ‘late notes’ in order to keep parents and carers informed.  From time to time the Child and Family Support Worker, Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher will undertake a ‘Late Gate’ check, greeting late arrivals at the main entrance to the school.   


At 9.15am the registers will be closed. In accordance with the Regulations, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site ‘U’, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence. This may mean that you could face the possibility of being issued with a Penalty Notice if the problem persists. If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the School Welfare Officer and/or Child and Family Support Worker, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.  We expect parents and staff to encourage good punctuality by being good role models to our children and celebrate good class and individual punctuality.