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St Paul's Church of England Combined School

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Late/Absence Procedures


As Parents you will understand the importance of regular and punctual attendance and your co-operation in this respect will be much appreciated.

Absence can only be authorised by the school and cannot be authorised by parents. All absences will be treated as unauthorised unless a satisfactory explanation for the pupil's absence has been received.

Parents should advise the school by telephone on the first day of absence and provide the school with an expected date of return. This is particularly important for those children who walk to school on their own. This should be followed up in the form of a written note from the parent/carer, though verbal explanations may be acceptable where this is considered appropriate. 

Illness: In most cases a telephone call or a note from the parent informing the school that their child is ill will be acceptable. Parents may be asked to provide medical evidence where there are repeated absences due to reported illness. This will usually be in the form of an appointment card, prescription etc.

Medical/Dental Appointments: Parents are advised where possible to make medical and dental appointments outside the school day. Where this is not possible, pupils should attend school for part of the day. Parents should show the appointment card to school.

Other Authorised Circumstances: Attendance at a family wedding, funeral or other official occasion (such as a graduation) is considered exceptional. This will include travel to and from the event if abroad. Service families taking holidays in term time are also considered exceptional.

Late Arrival: Registration begins at 8:45am. Pupils arriving after 8:55am will be marked as present but having arrived late. If late arriving to school, pupils must immediately report to the school office to ensure that we can be responsible for their health and safety whilst they are in school. Late arrival after the registers have closed will only be authorised if a satisfactory explanation can be provided, for example, attendance at a medical appointment. Persistent lateness will be monitored and strategies suggested to overcome the problem.

Unauthorised absence: Absence will not be authorised unless parents have provided a satisfactory explanation that has been accepted as such by the school.

Religious Observance: St Paul's Church of England Combined School acknowledges the multi-faith nature of British society and recognises that on some occasions, religious festivals may fall outside school holiday periods or weekends and that this necessitates a consideration of authorised absence or special leave for religious observance. It is reasonable for a parent to allow their children not to attend school on any day of religious observance if recognised by the parents' religious body. Parents are required to complete a request for a leave of absence form as it the normal procedure. In the interests of fulfilling the academic requirements of the school and limiting the authorised absence rate of the school, it is identified as reasonable that no more that one day be designated for any individual occasion of religious observance/festival and no more than three days in total in any academic year. Absence in excess of this will be categorised as unauthorised.

Leave of Absence and Extended Leave: Parents do not have an automatic right to remove their child from school during term time for the purpose of a holiday and are strongly advised not to do so. Parents should be aware that if their child is absent for 10 school days they will miss 5% of their education during that academic year. Parents wishing to take their child out of school during term time must complete a request for a leave of absence form at least a month before the planned absence. This form is available from the school office or can be downloaded below. The completed form should then be handed into the school office for the Headteacher to consider. Documentary evidence of leave and return dates may be required in order to process requests. Retrospective requests will not be considered and therefore will result in the absence being categorised as unauthorised. Each request will be considered on an individual basis and will take the following factors into account:

  • Length of the proposed leave
  • The pupil's general absence/attendance record
  • Timing of SATs and other assessments
  • General welfare of the pupil
  • Circumstances of the request
  • When the request was made

If the permission to take leave is not granted and the pupil is still absent on those dates, the absence will be unauthorised. In such cases the school may refer the matter to the County Attendance Officers who may issue a Penalty Notice.


Attendance Policy