St Martin & St Mary Church ofEngland Primary School


Welcome toSt Martin & St Mary Church ofEngland Primary School

Absence Requests

Absence Request Form

Please download, print and return to the school office. The school office can also provide paper copies.


Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children attend school regularly and arrive on time.  It is the parents' responsibility to contact the school on the first day their child is absent and only the Headteacher can authorise absence for approved reasons.  These include:


  • Occasional sickness
  • Pre-arranged appointments


Unauthorised Absence


Absences will be unauthorised for things such as:


  • Persistent non-specific illness
  • Absence of siblings if one child is unwell
  • Oversleeping
  • Confusion over school dates
  • Medical/dental appointments of more that half a day without good reason
  • Child's/family birthday
  • Shopping trip




Holidays during term time will not be authorised and will be recorded as an unauthorised absence on your child's record.

The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. The Department for Education allows a headteacher the discretion to consider authorising a leave of absence in term time only in ‘exceptional circumstances’.


Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning. You may consider that a holiday will be educational, but your child will miss key teaching and learning that their peers will receive whilst your child is away. Children returning from a leave of absence during term time are also unprepared for the lessons which build on the teaching they have missed. It is extremely difficult for teachers to be able to then offer additional support to individual children who are not prepared to move onto the next stage of their learning. This poses a potential risk of the under achievement for your child and other students in the class. This is something we all have a responsibility to avoid.


In all cases, parents need to request a leave of absence by completing the form on the reverse of this letter. If the absence is not considered to be an ‘exceptional circumstance’, and you nevertheless take your child out of school for the leave of absence this will be recorded as unauthorised.


All unauthorised absences, including holidays that have not been sanctioned by the headteacher, are accumulated and parents who fail to ensure regular attendance of their children at school can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. The amount is £60 (per parent per child) if paid within 21 days and £120 (per parent per child) if paid between 21 and 28 days. Failure to pay a Penalty Notice will result in prosecution, except in limited circumstances.


From now on, all leave of absence requests must be completed on the attached form, letters will not be accepted. This should be returned to the school at least 7 days before the start of the holiday. All requests must be made prior to the leave being taken. Leave cannot be authorised retrospectively.


In addition, where a child’s attendance is causing a concern, and is set to fall below 90% in any given period, school will refer the family to the Local Authority Attendance and Inclusion Officer for further support and intervention.


In considering the decision whether to authorise any absence, the following will be taken into account:

  • Reasons given for the absence
  • Any absence taken in previous academic years (authorised or unauthorised)
  • Your child’s previous attendance record; this includes attendance in the current academic year - which should be over 96% - as well as attendance in previous academic years
  • Whether your child will miss any tests/examinations (or important preparation for their tests)
  • Whether your child is making good progress


I hope you will support our efforts to raise attendance and attainment at our school.