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Maylandsea Primary School

Enjoy and Achieve


Attendance Matters

Attendance information for parents

For all children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning.

Our Attendance Policy aims to raise and maintain levels of attendance by:

  • Promoting a positive and welcoming atmosphere in which pupils feel safe, secure and valued.
  • Raising awareness of the importance of good attendance and punctuality.
  • Ensuring that attendance is monitored effectively, in line with Government and Local Authority requirements, and reasons for absences are recorded promptly and consistently.
  • Helping parents/carers so that they are aware of their own child’s attendance record and the impact that this is having on their education

Understanding different types of absence

Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parents), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required and it is a legal requirement.

Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness, medical or dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause.

Unauthorised absences are those which the school and the governors, following Government guidelines, do not consider reasonable and for which no ‘leave’ has been given. This type of absence can lead to the Local Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings including penalty notices and fines.

Unauthorised absence includes:

  • Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily e.g. because they had a late night or for non-infectious illness or injury that would not affect their ability to learn;
  • truancy before or during the school day
  • absences which have never been properly explained;
  • children who arrive at school too late to get registered;
  • shopping trips;
  • looking after other children or children accompanying siblings or parents to medical appointments;
  • their own or family birthdays;
  • day trips;
  • holidays in term time
  • holidays taken around family events

Holidays in Term Time

There is no longer any entitlement in law for pupils to take time off during the term to go on holiday.

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 have been amended from 1st September 2013.

All references to family holidays and extended leave have been removed, together with the right for parents/carers to apply for up to ten days holiday during term time. 

The amendments specify that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are “exceptional circumstances”.Examples of ‘exceptional circumstances’ may include:

… armed forces personnel recently returned from a theatre of operations

…an immediate family member who is critically/ terminally ill

…exceptionally traumatic family circumstances which require time out of school for a specific purpose

It is important for parents/carers to be aware that while decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, requests will normally be refused.