St Michael with St John Church of England Primary School

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Absence & Late Procedures

Parents and carers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their children attend school regularly, and stay in school for every lesson after they have registered. If a child is in the care of foster parents or in a residential home, it is important that the carers recognise their parenting role where attendance to school is concerned.


         Parents and carers are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that their child attends school regularly, arrives at school on time, properly dressed, with the right equipment and in a condition to learn. A reason should be provided for any lateness.

  • Contacting the school office on the first morning of absence by 9.00 am at the latest and providing a reason for absence.

  • Making routine medical appointments outside the normal school day.

  • Informing the school in advance of any medical appointments in school time. For the absence to be recorded as a medical absence we require evidence from the relevant medical professional (appointment card/letter).

  • Working closely with the school and the school’s designated Inclusion Officer to resolve any problems that may impede a child’s attendance.

  • Talking to the school as soon as possible about a child’s reluctance to come to school so that problems can be quickly identified and dealt with.

  • Ensuring that family holidays are taken during school holiday periods.



  • School opens for children from Reception to Year 6 at 8.40 am.  Children in Nursery start at 8.45 am.

  • Children from Years 1 to 6 will enter via the playground door where a member of senior staff will be on duty. Children in reception enter via the reception classroom door. Children in Nursery enter via the Nursery door at 8.45 am.

  • The Victoria Street gate is locked at 8.55 am, followed by the car park, Galaxy Centre and Swallow Drive gates.

  • Any children arriving after 8.55 am will need to come into school via the main entrance.

  • The attendance register is completed by the class teacher/adult responsible for the class by 9.00 am and by 1.10pm.

  • All attendance records are documented using SIMs software, which is supported by the Local Authority.


        Recording Lateness

  • Children arriving after 8.55 am enter school through the main entrance and are signed in on a daily list by a member of the administrative team.

  • Children arriving after 9.00 am are signed in on the same list but receive a late mark.

  • Registers are then checked alongside the list of children who arrived after 8.55 am, and those recorded as late who arrived after 9.00 am, to check that all children are accounted for.

  • The Office Manager ensures that records are kept of pupils who are late; this is documented on the electronic register for each pupil by a member of the administrative team.

  • The Office Manager ensures that children arriving later than 9.20 am are marked as having an unauthorised absence for the morning session.

  • Children who are persistently late - parents/carers receive a letter advising them of the concerns and the school provides opportunities for parents/carers to seek support and advice to address these issues.


        Recording Absences

  • Parents/carers must contact the school on the first day of their child’s absence providing a reason for absence.

  • The school will decide if it will record the absence as authorised or unauthorised based on guidance set out in the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations. These regulations state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during school time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

  • Where we have not received reasons for a child’s absence a letter will be sent to parents/carers requesting the details. If the letter is not completed and returned by the specified date then the absence will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.

  • The school will request that parents provide medical evidence for absences. This evidence could be a doctor’s note, appointment card or copy of a prescription.

  • When children have an illness that means they will be away from school for a longer period, the school will do all it can to send material home, so that they can keep up with their school work.


        First Day Response

  • The Office Manager ensures that a member of the administrative team checks all the registers from 9.00 am to 9.30 am on a daily basis, to identify pupils who are absent.

  • When a child is absent from school and we have not received any verbal or written communication from the parent, the Office Manager ensures that the school’s first day response process is initiated whereby a member of the administrative team contacts the parent to check the reasons for the child’s absence.


        Parental Requests for Absence from School During Term Time

  • With effect from September 2013 the government abolished the right of the Headteacher to authorise holidays/leave of absence in term time.

  • The Headteacher will only be allowed to grant leave of absence if they are satisfied exceptional circumstances exist. Please see the Discretionary Leave of Absence Policy (school website / hard copies available at the school office).