Attendance – A guide for Parents/Carers

  1. When does my child need to be in School?

Your child should be at school by 8:45am, ready for the bell to ring and classes to start at 8:50am. They should not arrive before 8:20am, unless they are brought to school by the county mini-bus which may arrive earlier. The register is taken at 8:50am.  The afternoon school session starts at 12:45pm.

  1. What happens if my child is late?

Registration closes at 9:10am in the morning and 1:00pm in the afternoon.

Pupils who arrive after 8:50am registration should report to the school office. If a pupil arrives after 8:50am but before 9:10am they will receive a late mark.

If a pupil arrives after the register closes at 9:10am they will be marked as an unauthorised absence unless a satisfactory explanation is received.

  1. Is my child too ill for school?

At Michaelchurch, we recognise children cannot help being ill at times, and of course we don’t expect them to be in school if they are too ill to learn.  There are times when you may be unsure about sending your child in and on these occasions, we would encourage you to send them in, with the knowledge that we will keep a special eye on them and let you know if there’s any change.

Here are a couple of useful websites to help you decide if your child should stay at home:

  1. Does the school need letters explaining my child’s absence or will a phone call do?

Parents must telephone the school on the first day of absence (and each subsequent day of absence) or report to the school office with a specific reason why your child is not able to attend school (e.g. “they are poorly” is not satisfactory).

If the school does not receive an explanation, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, the school office will phone you for further details.  If the school is still not satisfied or is not able to get hold of you, the absence will not authorised. The telephone call will be logged and the reason for absence recorded.

If we are concerned about aspects of your child’s attendance or punctuality we will contact you to discuss the best way forward.

Where a child is absent without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 school days or more at the agreed intervals, it is the school’s legal responsibility to inform the council.

Letters of explanation will only be required if, following a discussion with the Headteacher, attendance has become a concern.


  1. What reasons will the school accept for absences?
  • However persistent illness without medical evidence will not be authorised: After more than 20 days illness parents will be expected to grant permission for the school to consult the medical practitioner concerned.
  • Emergency dental/medical appointment. (Please make routine appointments after school or during the holidays).
  • Day of religious observance.
  • Family bereavement.

Except in the case of illness, you should ask for permission for your child to miss school well in advance, giving full details. In cases of recurring absences through illness you may be asked to produce a medical certificate.

  1. What is unacceptable?

The school will not authorise absences other than those in exceptional circumstances. Family holidays, day trips, shopping or birthdays are not classed as exceptional.

  1. Can we take family holidays during term-time?

Family holidays should be taken during school holidays. Only in exceptional circumstances will permission be given. You need to request permission in writing to the Headteacher in advance. The Headteacher has the right to refuse permission.

  1. What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?

Make sure your child gets enough sleep and gets up in plenty of time each morning. Ensure that he or she leaves home in the correct clothes and properly equipped. Show your child, by your interest, that you value his or her education.

  1. My child is trying to avoid coming to school. What should I do?

Contact your child’s class teacher immediately and openly discuss your worries. Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons – difficulties with school work, bullying, friendship problems, family difficulties. It is important that we identify the reason for your child’s reluctance to attend school and work together to tackle the problem.