Pupil Absence

Sickness Reporting

Parents and Carers should contact school as soon as possible (preferably before 9am) on the first day of their child's absence by:

Phoning school 01943 883000 (Option 1) (a message can be left on the answering machine)

Texting school on 07624 812309

If a child is absent from school, Parents and Carers must contact school as soon as possible on the first day of absence and on each subsequent day.

The Three Categories for Pupil Absence

There are three categories for pupil absence:

  • Sickness Reporting
  • Medical Appointments
  • Leave of Absence

Medical Appointments

Please ensure that the medical appointment details are shown to the Form Tutor and times of absence are written in the Pupil Planner,  so that school is aware when the child will be absent.

Emergency medical appointments: contact school by phone, text or email and please bring evidence of the appointment on the pupil’s return to school.

These requirements are in line with our safeguarding procedures.

Exceptional Circumstances Request Form

Exceptional Circumstances Request Form and Statutory Declaration (PDF)

The exceptional circumstances request form must be completed for any absence other than sickness. Please note that this form must be received by school at least 10 school days before the absence.
For example:

  • Music examinations
  • Cadet/Guide camp
  • Sport camp

The Education Regulations 2006 amendment makes it clear that headteachers may only grant Leave of Absence in exceptional circumstances. Family holidays taken during term time are recorded as unauthorised.

Statutory Declaration
Legal responsibility

As a parent/guardian I understand all children aged between 5 and 16 are required by law to receive an education, and    under the provisions of the Education Act 1996, it is my responsibility as a parent to ensure the regular school attendance of my children and that failure to do so could result in legal proceedings being taken by the Local Education Authority.
I understand that requests for leave can only be granted by schools if there are exceptional circumstances, and holidays are not considered exceptional. They must also be made to the school in advance, as the Department for Education has told schools that they cannot authorise any absences after they have been taken.
I understand if my request is unauthorised I am most likely to be fined, £60 per parent, £60 per child (for example a family of 4 with 2 parents and 2 children will be fined a total of £240).
Once the penalty notice is issued, I have 21 days in which to pay the fine. If I fail to pay in that time period, the fine will double and I then have another seven days in which to pay, taking the total time in which to make payment to 28 days.
If I fail to make payment after 28 days then the local authority has the power to prosecute me in the magistrate’s court for the offence of failing to ensure my child attends school regularly. A guilty verdict at court can lead to a fine of up to £1000, and a criminal record which can affect employment opportunities.
School places
I am aware that a referral will be made to the Local Authority Children Missing from Education Team (CME) if my request is   unauthorised and my child hasn’t returned to school on the agreed date. This can result in my child losing their school place.
I am also aware that there are a shortage of places in the area, so if my child loses their school place it could result in having to travel to a school out of area or my child without a school. 

Exceptional circumstance request forms can be downloaded below or collected from Pupil Reception. Once school receives the completed application for absence in term time, the headteacher's response is then sent to parents, stating authorised/unauthorised leave, with an explanation where appropriate.

Attendance Increases Success

There is strong evidence that attendance is linked to performance in schools.

At St. Mary’s we strive for each pupil to achieve their full potential. Consequently, excellent attendance is encouraged from all pupils. Those achieving 100% attendance are rewarded with a certificate at the end of each year, with a more significant prize awarded to those with 100% attendance across Key Stage 3.

Lateness and Absence Campaign

Online and posters around school campaign.


5 minutes late each day = 3 days off in a school year


95% attendance = 9.5 days off in a school year = Quarter of a school year missed during Year 7 to Year 11