Scroll to content
St Mary of Charity Primary School home page

St Mary of Charity

Primary School

School Attendance


We pride ourselves on our attendance here at St Mary of Charity. Our school community understands how good attendance will ensure that children make good progress in their learning. 


The school day starts at 8.35am and gates close at 8.45am.  We encourage children to arrive promptly as learning begins as soon as they enter the classroom.  If a child arrives at 9am before registers close it is recorded as late.  If a child arrives after this time it is recorded as an unauthorised late mark.  Persistent lateness may result in a penalty notice.  Our Parent Support Advisor, Mrs Ling, is available to talk to or if you need support.


We work hard to ensure good attendance and attendance is tracked weekly in school. We provide rewards to promote and recognise all children and their families who have good attendance and we address where attendance is less than our expectation of 96%.


We understand that children can become ill and, at times like this, days off of school are inevitable. Parents MUST contact the school office to inform us of the reasons for any school absence and we ask that medical appointments are made out of school whenever possible. The school will not authorise holidays during term time unless there are very exceptional circumstances and any requests for leave during term time should be made in writing to Mrs Rowley-Jones before any bookings are made. 

By registering your child at our school, you have a legal duty to ensure your child attends school regularly. This means they must attend every day that the school is open, except in a small number of allowable circumstances such as being too ill to attend or being given permission for an absence in advance from the school. Attendance is monitored closely by the school, below is a breakdown of what we do:


Children with 100 – 90% Attendance level:


  • Each morning of the day of absence you MUST call or email the school office and report the reason why your child will not be attending. If the school has not been notified the absence will be marked as unauthorised.
  • If your child is absent for either a dentist or medical appointment, then please bring in a copy of the medical appointment via the school office (not classroom) where it will be photocopied and filed.
  • If your child is off for more than 3 days together, then medical evidence will be requested from day 4 onwards. It can be a doctors note, medical appointment letter or prescription. If no medical evidence is provided for day 4 onwards, it will be marked as unauthorised. (5 UN days equal a PN referral to KCC).


If a pupil is absent for two days or more without explanation, a home visit may be made and Police Welfare Checks can be requested.


Children with 89% and below Attendance level:


*Each parent is notified in writing when they reach this level and invited into school to have a meeting with the headteacher Mrs Rowley-Jones


  • Any pupil under 90% attendance level MUST call or email the school office and report the reason why your child will not be attending.
  • You MUST also provide medical evidence to cover from day 1 of their recent illness. This includes days off for sickness and diarrhoea. It can be a doctor’s note, hospital note, medical appointment letter of prescription.
  • Evidence MUST be brought in via the school office (not classroom) where it will be photocopied and filed.
  • If no evidence is provided the absence will be marked down as unauthorised (5 UN days equal a PN referral to KCC).


For all pupils requesting A Leave of Absence for Special Occasions:


  • The request MUST be in writing 2 weeks before the absence in either a letter, an email or an absence request form (available at the office).
  • You MUST clearly state the reason for the absence and how long the child will be absent for.
  • The Headteacher will then notify you in writing if this request has been authorised or not. If you do not agree with the decision then please ask for a meeting with the Head teacher to discuss.
  • If no written notification is given of an absence, it will be marked as unauthorised.





Term time family holidays will NEVER be authorised unless there are Exceptional Circumstances.


Examples of such absences may include a family bereavement, music or ballet exams, visits to other schools or sporting activities and service personnel returning from a deployment where leave will not fall in a school holiday.  Some holidays in term-time may also be classed as Exceptional Circumstances and each case will be reviewed on an individual basis by the Head Teacher.  There is no automatic right to take a holiday in term time. Schools will never authorise holidays which fall in SATs week or at the start of a new academic year, as research shows poor attendance in the first key days of a new year are closely linked to persistent absence through the year.


In cases where exceptional circumstances are not granted and a child misses’ school for holiday purposes then penalty notices will be issued.


Penalty Notices (PN) are issued in accordance with Kent County Council’s Education Penalty Notices Code of Conduct, effective from January 2016. ‘Absences for 10 or ore half day sessions (5 school days) without authorisation during any 100 possible school’s sessions – these do not need to be consecutive. On receipt of the Notice, the penalty will be £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days. Failure to pay the penalty notice in full at the end of the 28-day period may result in prosecution by the Local Authority’.


For more information regarding attendance at school please make sure that you read our Attendance policy.