Attendance and absence 

At St Mary's, we recognise the importance of regular attendance. The overall level of attendance that we aim to achieve is 100%. Ideally, there should be no unauthorised absence. 

All pupils should attend school for every session that is available to them, unless the reason for their absence is one that meets the school’s criteria for authorising absences, e.g. illness, non-routine medical/dental appointments, religious observance, educational visits and another unavoidable cause.

Legal Duty as a Parent
The parent of any child at St Mary's has a legal duty to secure the regular attendance of that child. Failure to secure the regular attendance at school of a registered pupil is a criminal offence which can lead to prosecution of the parent(s) in a magistrates’ court.

Gloucestershire Local Authority have produced information leaflets which parents are advised to download and read. These leaftlets are available by following the link below:


Key points of the Attendance policy for parents

  • The Class registers are completed by 9:00 each morning and at 13:00 each afternoon.
  • Any child who is absent from school at the morning or afternoon registration period must have their absence recorded as being : Authorised, Unauthorised, Approved as an education activity.
  • Only head teacher or staff acting on behalf of the head teacher can authorised absence.
  • If there is no known reason for absence at registration then the absence must be recorded in the first instances as unauthorised.
  • School starts at 8:50.
  • The morning registration starts at 8:50 and closes at 9:10.
  • The afternoons registration starts at 13:00 and closes at 13:10.
  • Students arriving after the start but before the end of the registration will be recorded as late.
  • If a child is absent from school and the school has not been notified in writing of the absence then the parent must contact the school by telephone or email by 9:10
  • On the first day of absence attempt(s) will be made by the Admin Assistant to contact the parents.
  • If a child was absent on a second/third day and no contact was made on the first day or there was concern that a child maybe ‘missing’ then the education Welfare Officer would be contacted.
  • If a child was absent for more than 3 days then the head teacher would be informed. If the head teacher was not satisfied with reasons given for absence then the Local authority/social Care Team would be contacted for advice and guidance
  • If a child is absent for more than 5 days then the matter has to be discussed directly with the head teacher.
  • If a child is absent for more than 1 day then the parent is required to provide a letter or email detailing absence.
  • If an absence is planned e.g. medical reason then the parent is required to notify the school in writing or email
  • Absence for non-medical reason should be requested in advance using  REQUEST TO TAKE A CHILD OUT OF SCHOOL DURING TERM TIME.
  • If a child is to transfer to a new school then the parents must complete a ‘leaver’s form’.
  • If a child has an attendance less than 90% then they are categorised as a ‘persistent absentee’ (in-line with the new attendance regulations of September 2015) without a satisfactory reason then the parents will receive a letter with actions from the head teacher. If the attendance does not improve in an identified period the will be they will be contacted again with further actions.
  • If a child has an attendance less than 85% without a satisfactory reason then the parents will receive a letter with actions from the head teacher to improve over the next term. If the attendance does not improve then the child will be referred to the school’s attendance officer (who will contact parents to establish what support is required to ensure the child’s attendance improves and returns to 90%+).
  • We discourage any unnecessary absence from school and will only authorise absence for non-medical reasons in exceptional circumstances.
  • If a child who is subject to child Protection Plan is absent for 2 or more consecutive days without a reasonable explanation the head teacher will notify the social care professional responsible for the child