St Mary's Church of England Primary School

Late/Absence Procedures

Regular and punctual attendance of pupils at school is both a legal requirement and essential in order for pupils to maximise the opportunities available to them, unless parents elect formally to educate their children at home.  


Schools' responsibilities relating to attendance are detailed in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 and The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2010.  


These responsibilities include:


  • advising the Local Authority of any pupil who fails to attend regularly or has had 10 or more days of continuous unauthorised absence;
  • taking a register twice a day (at the start of the morning session and once during the afternoon);
  • marking pupils for each session indicating, with the appropriate code, whether each was present, absent, engaged in an approved educational activity off-site or unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances (unavoidable school closure, lack of school/LA transport and not within walking distance or widespread travel disruption due to local/national emergency; and
  • complying with statutory registration and deletion procedures.  


Where there are concerns about pupil absence we seek to intervene early and maintain a chronology of all contacts regarding pupil absence with the pupil, parent and other agencies.  This is of great importance, as we will be required to produce this as evidence if legal intervention is subsequently used.  


Government guidelines which came into effect on 1st September 2013 preventing Headteachers from granting any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. A family holiday during term-time does not fall under the category of 'exceptional circumstances.'  


Our Head of School will consider whether the request for leave of absence could be considered to fall under the heading of 'exceptional circumstances'.  If the request is not being made as a result of 'exceptional circumstances' OR the family have already taken absence without seeking prior approval of the Head of School, the Head of School must notify the parent, in writing, of their decision to refuse to grant permission for leave/code the absence as unauthorised, and warn them that this refusal places the parent(s) at risk of being issued with Penalty Notice(s), as per Leicestershire County Council's policy/Code of Conduct.  Parents failing to pay £60 within 21 days/£128 within 28 days will face prosecution under section 444 Education Act 1996.  


If you require a leave of absence from school due to exceptional circumstances please print out and complete the following form.  Once the form is completed please return it to the school office where it will be considered.  


Exceptional Leave Application Form