Attendance 1

Attendance 3

At St Mary’s C of E Primary School, we aim to ensure that all children receive an education that maximises opportunities for each pupil to reach their full potential.  In order to achieve this, we work hard to provide a welcoming, caring learning environment where every member of the school community feels valued.

Every School Day Counts!

In order for our pupils to achieve their very best it is of paramount importance that their attendance is good.  Every lesson really does count for your child and catching up on lost time from school can be really difficult.

Good attendance is linked to achievement, positive relationships with other children and improved learning behaviours.  Often, the reason that children are absent from school is due to illness.  You can help to ensure that your child’s attendance is good by leading a healthy lifestyle: exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and maintaining a balanced diet. Missing any period of time of schooling has been proven to be detrimental, both, academically and socially.


Attendance 2

If your child is unwell

We recognise and understand that children do become ill and this may result in them being unable to attend school for a period of time. We ask that parents make the school office aware of any absences by 8:30am for every day that your child is absent. You do this by ringing 01752 880436. Please leave a message using Option 1, stating your child’s name, class and the reason for their absence.

If your child has a sickness/diarrhoea bugwe ask that parents keep them off school for 48 hours after their last episode of sickness.

If your child has an illness that may be contagious, we ask that parents follow the doctors’ instructions regarding absence from school. Please keep the school informed about this, as detailed above. There are also some links to useful information pages, below.

The school can administer prescribed medication if parents have completed the correct permissions form. The form can be found at the main school office.

If your child has a cold or is feeling a little unwell, we encourage parents to bring them to school. Teachers are very vigilant and the school will contact parents if your child’s symptoms worsen or we feel they become too unwell to remain in school.

The office team are able to support parents with any queries regarding absences due to illness.

Please also check the NHS Guide ‘Should I keep my child off school?’ A link can be found here.


It’s important that the children arrive to school on time, ready and willing to learn. The gates open at 8.45am and all children are expected to be in their classrooms at 9.00am, with the gates being closed at 9.00am.  Any child who arrives after the gates are locked needs to be signed in at the main school reception.

Any child arriving after the register closed receives an ‘unauthorised absence’ mark in the register.

Being late for school reduces learning time and can be highly disruptive and harmful to a child’s self esteem.  Children are often embarrassed and/or upset at entering a busy classroom after everyone else. Through missing the initial morning instructions means that that individual is playing ‘catch-up’ for the rest of the morning.

If your child is 5 minutes late everyday, they will miss 3 days of learning a year.

If they are 15 minutes late a day, they will miss 2 weeks of learning each year.


What can parents do to help attendance?

  • If your child is unwell, phone and report this in to the office before 8.30am;
  • If you suspect that your child is a reluctant attender or is unhappy at school, do not keep them at home. Contact the school as soon as possible so that any difficulties can be resolved;
  • Make sure your child arrives to school on time and is prepared for the day ahead (eg that they have the correct school uniform, homework, PE swimming kit);
  • Take an interest in your child’s education. Ask them about their day and praise and encourage their achievements at school (If the children can see that you value education, they will too);
  • Attend any meetings that you are invited to regarding attendance;
  • Make medical/dental appointments out of school hours or during the school holidays wherever possible.

What can St Mary’s do to support attendance rates?

  • Monitoring of attendance and consultation with parents is ongoing;
  • Poor attendees are monitored and contacted regularly;
  • Poor attendees may be asked to an attendance meeting to identify if any support can be offered to the family to aid attendance;
  • All unexplained absences are followed up within the morning session.



We are required by law to record absences and share these figures with parents, the Local Authority and the DfE. An absence is considered to be unauthorised if we have not been informed by parents.


Parents at St Mary’s are really good at letting us know when their child is absent, so keep helping us to make sure that our unauthorised absence figures remain low.


Holiday in term time

In order to ensure that the pupils at St Mary’s C of E Primary School receive an education that maximises opportunities for each pupil to reach their full potential, the Head of School will not authorise term time holidays.  Any exceptional circumstances should be put into writing to the Head of School and an individual decision will be made.  Unauthorised leave can result in the parents being fined £60 per parent per child (further information can be found on the Attendance policy on the website). The Local Authority may take parents to court where parents take their child out of school without authorisation.

At the start of each academic year

Parents will receive a letter reminding them about their legal responsibility regarding term time holidays and the school’s responsibility to share information about term time holidays with Devon County Council.


Attendance Policy. Review March 2023


Other useful information

  • Absence Request Forms (S2) can be found here.
  • NHS information about common childhood illnesses can be found here.