Quick Links

Quick Links

Back to top

St Mary's Catholic High School


The law entitles every child of compulsory school age to an efficient, full-time education.

It is the legal requirement of every parent to make sure their child receives that education by attendance at a school.

Working together to improve school attendance - DFE September 2022

Our school takes seriously its responsibility to ensure that students attend school regularly and on time. Regular and punctual attendance at school is a legal requirement and it is also essential in order for pupils to maximise their chances of success.

It is our aim that all students should achieve at least 96% attendance, that punctuality is at a high level and that the number of unauthorised absences be kept to the absolute minimum.

A high level of attendance and punctuality is essential if pupils are to benefit from the educational opportunities available to them, maintain progress and continuity in their learning and achieve their full potential.  Good attendance and punctuality help prepare students for the responsibilities of adult life and for the work place.

The school will:

Register all pupils during each school session in accordance with the law, noting both authorised and unauthorised absence.  Subject teachers will register their classes at the start of each lesson.

Monitor regularly the pattern of attendance and absence of all pupils and work closely with pupils, parents, the Educational Welfare Officer and other agencies in cases of unsatisfactory attendance.

Try to ensure that the curriculum is stimulating, exciting and appropriate so that pupils wish to attend school regularly.  Where any difficulties over attendance arise for an individual pupil, the pastoral staff will review the pupil's curriculum in order to ensure that it meets these criteria.

Monitor each day the punctuality of pupils and take appropriate action in the case of those who show a pattern of late arrival at school.

What happens if a student is absent?

Parents/carers are asked to telephone school before 8.30am to notify us of their child’s absence, and giving the reason, by using the school's designated telephone line (2028 686 3837 - Option 1), or by email to: office@stmaryscroydon.co.uk

At around 10.00am each morning, parents/carers of any student absent without parental/carer contact will be contacted by text using the school's 'Keep Children Safe Truancy Call' system.

Should there still be no contact with a parent/carer regarding a student absence, the school will telephone a parent/carer, later on the same day, regarding the absence.

When a student returns to school they should have a note from their parent/carer to their child's Form Tutor explaining the absence and, if appropriate, a medical note or appointment card. 

Punctuality and students leaving during the school day

Students should arrive in school no later than 8.30am each morning and line up in their designated playground area. Form Tutors register their tutor groups each morning from 8:30am.

A member of staff will monitor the school gate until 9.30am each morning. Students arriving at school after this time should sign in at reception, giving a valid reason for their lateness.

Students arriving after the register has been taken at 8.30am will be marked as late, and will be given a detention at lunchtime on the same day, as well as receiving 1 behaviour point. Should a student be late on more than one occasion in the same week, parents will receive a telephone call from their child's Pastoral Co-ordinator. For any further occurance of lateness, additional behaviour points will be issued and the student will be placed on a punctuality report.

Pupils who wish to leave the premises during the school day will be expected to bring a letter from their parents notifying the Head of Year of the reason – this will need to be authorised by the Head of Year before they can leave the school premises.

Leave of absence during term time

Holidays must not be taken during term time. Amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 came into force on 1st September 2013. The amendment states Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence for holidays during the term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Parents needing leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should apply to the Headteacher. The exceptional reason should be outlined in detail and evidenced. Please Note: Wanting to take advantage of off-peak holiday prices is not an exceptional circumstance.

Parents who take their children on holiday without permission will incur unauthorised absence for their child. These remain on the child's record and will be monitored. Parents will also be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Monitoring attendance

In the first instance, Form Tutors will make contact with parents/carers regarding concerns over individual students attendance/punctuality. This will usually be followed up by letter should attendance/punctuality remain a cause for concern.

The school's Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will meet with Heads of Year on a regular basis to review attendance and for persistent attendance concerns to be referred to the Local Authority Child Missing Education Team (CME) for further action.

Where necessary, the school's Educational Welfare Officer will liaise with officers of the Local Education Authority in the prosecution of parents who fail to send their children to school.

School tracking and reports will show your child's level of attendance and punctuality record. These will clearly indicate if it is a cause for concern.

Pupils will be rewarded for excellent attendance which will be celebrated through our student newsletters and at assemblies.

Legal action

The Educational Welfare Officer, on reviewing  attendance, may refer the parents/carers of a student whose attendance is of serious concern for consideration for further intervention and possible legal action.

Records of meetings, both paper and electronic, copies of letters and details of telephone calls with the school will be kept and may be used as evidence in court if legal proceedings are taken.  In the first instance, a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued if a child has an unacceptable level of unauthorised absences.

In addition, as previously explained, requests for authorised absence will not normally be granted for the purpose of a holiday.  Any parent or carer taking their child out of school for the purpose of a holiday may be subjected to a Fixed Penalty Notice.