Quick Links

Quick Links

St. Mary's Menston


At St Mary’s we take pride in our excellent attendance and we expect all students to aim for 100% attendance. The Department for Education (DfE) guidance is clear that the target for all school children should be 95% or over. There is a clear link between attendance and positive outcomes for children and young people.

Evidence from research findings and best practice shows that:

  • Good attendance is at the heart of great progress, developing social skills and friendships.
  • Regular attendance enables students to achieve their full potential and improve their life chances.
  • Missing out on school can leave students feeling vulnerable and left behind.
  • Leave during term time is unsettling and can gravely affect a child’s education.
  • On average students who consistently miss 17 or more days in a school year lose one full grade in their GCSE’s.

We understand that children get poorly and may need to be off school, however, it is vital that this is not the case for minor illness such as those that would not prevent you from going to work. Please see the NHS website for guidance on whether your child is too ill to come to school.

Reporting Absences

Report every absence to school via the Parent Portal, Arbor App or call the attendance line on 01943 883000 and select option 1.  This must be done before 08.30 and on every subsequent day of absence.

If an absence is not reported and is unexplained, parents/guardians will be contacted, as it is our duty to Safeguard. We will endeavour to make all reasonable enquires to ascertain the whereabouts of the child and the reason for absence. If St Mary’s fails to make any contact with parents, a member of staff may conduct home visits, contact the Police or Children’s Social Care to complete a safe and well check. We ask that parents/guardians keep school up to date with changes to contact details.



Wherever possible medical/dental appointments must be arranged out of school hours. Proof will need to be provided and these should rarely take a full day. Pupils must be collected by an adult to attend these appointments. This adult must be listed as one of the child’s emergency contacts.

Please send your child to school before the appointment, sign out and return to school after the appointment.


Requests for Leave

School holidays account for 14 weeks of the year and parents are expected to arrange all family holidays during these times.

DfE Guidance and the Pupil Registration Regulations (September 2013) state that headteachers may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. We therefore have a discretionary power to grant a student leave of absence during term time but only in 'exceptional circumstances' . Parents must not assume there is an automatic right. 

Any request for exceptional circumstances must be made by completing the Exceptional Circumstances Request Form (below) at least 3 weeks in advance of the proposed absence.

If you take your child on holiday during term time you may be liable for a penalty notice being issued with or without prior notice by parents/carers.

Unauthorised absences are shown on reports and ultimately could impact on school references, and potentially hinder employment prospects.

We appreciate your support in ensuring that absence is minimised and to ensure procedures are followed for requesting any absence.

Exceptional Circumstances Form - PDF

Exceptional Circumstances Form - Microsoft Word


Covid-19 NHS Guidance

The school is following the NHS guidance regarding Covid. The guidance explains what to do if a person has symptoms of Covid-19 and what to do if someone has tested positive. The guidance differs for each scenario.

Scenario 1: -if someone has symptoms they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have either a high temperature and/or do not feel well enough to go to work/school/do normal activities. People can go back to normal activities when they feel better or do not have a high temperature.
Scenario 2: -People are no longer required to do a Covid-19 rapid lateral flow test if they have symptoms but if someone does test positive for Covid they should stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after the day they took the test if they are 18 or over (3 days for children). They should also avoid people who are more likely to get seriously ill from viruses for 10 days after the day they took the test.



At St Mary’s we are clear that the punctual arrival to school and lessons is a vital part of both attendance to school, and effective learning habits. Students must be in form rooms by 8.30am each morning. Being 10 minutes late to school each day in an academic year is the equivalent time of having missed over 6 school days! Student arriving after 9.30 am, when the registers legally close, will not receive their AM mark and will impact on their attendance figure.