Attendance Information

Attendance Matters – Every School Day Counts

St Mary’s Catholic High School aims to work in partnership with parents and carers to ensure regular attendance and good punctuality. We seek parents and carers support in ensuring that their children attend school every day and welcome the opportunity to work together in resolving any difficulties. We are committed to Maintaining outstanding attendance levels at St Mary’s Catholic High School.

School starts at 8.50am, all pupils need to be at St Mary’s Catholic High School by 8.45am to start the day promptly.

Children learn new things at school every day and missing school puts them behind their classmates. There is no safe number of days for missing school – each day a pupil misses can affect their educational outcomes. Attendance patterns are established early – a child who is regularly missing days in the early years of school miss out on learning the fundamental skills that will set them up for success and will often continue to miss classes in the later years which will damage their learning and directly affect their GCSE results.

Absence from School

If your child is unable to attend, we expect parents/carers to contact the school by 9.00am on the first day of absence and every day thereafter, giving the reason for absence and where possible, an expected date of return.  You can notify the school by calling the main school number and leaving a message on the absence line or leave a message using the My Ed app.

Absence Line (voicemail): 01246 201191

My Ed app on your smart phone


If you have not contacted St Mary’s Catholic High School and your child is absent, you will receive a personal email/text through the My Ed app. We would also ask that parents/carers to send a note explaining the pupil’s absence on the day of their return to school.

St Mary’s Catholic High School will decide if the reason provided for a pupil’s absence is reasonable and if the absence is authorised or unauthorised. Medical evidence of illness or appointments may be requested in cases of poor attendance.

Examples of Authorised Absence

  • Genuine illness, medical evidence will need to be provided if this is long term
  • Unavoidable medical appointment
  • Religious Observance
  • Death of a close family member


Examples of Unauthorised Absence

  • Tired
  • Illness of parent
  • Refusing to attend
  • Birthdays or anniversaries
  • No clean uniform, damaged uniform or buying school shoes


Medical appointments should be made before or after school, or during school holidays.

Term Time holidays and arrangements for requesting exceptional leave of absence

Holidays must not be taken during the school term. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 make clear that a Headteacher may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If leave is unavoidable, an Application for Leave of Absence form should completed well in advance of leave being taken and sent to the Deputy Headteacher or appropriate Head of Key Stage. As much detail of the reason for absence should be included to enable the Headteacher to make an informed decision about authorising the leave – ‘family emergency’ is not deemed an adequate explanation without further details. Evidence sometimes may be requested.

The Headteacher will take into account a pupil’s previous record of attendance when making decisions. It is also important to note that the Head of School can determine the length of any authorised absence.  If leave is taken without request or the authorisation of the Head of School, a Penalty Notice will be issued. Further information can be found in St Mary’s Catholic High School Attendance  Policy.

Who to contact about your child’s attendance or punctuality

Parents with concerns about their child’s attendance or punctuality should contact the appropriate Head of Year.