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Nightingale Academy

St Margaret's Primary Academy

Unlocking Potential; Transforming Lives

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Parents and guardians are legally required to ensure their children are in school every day. Our attendance target as a school is 96%. It is a target that we aim to exceed.

We as a school aim to be fair and consistent in our Attendance Policy. We will keep parents informed if their child’s level of attendance falls and will write to you if your child’s attendance percentage drops to a level that causes concerns. We have an Education Welfare Officer linked to the school who can meet with any parent who is having difficulty with their child attending school for whatever reason.


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

School starts at 8:30am and doors close at 08:40am.


2. What happens if my child is late?

The school will regard punctuality as of the utmost importance.

If your child arrives after the entrance gate has closed your child will miss registration and be marked as late.

If your child arrives between 8:50 am and 9:00am he/she will be marked late - L Code

If your child arrives after 9:00 am he/she will be marked as absent - U Code

Pupils who arrive after registration should report to the school office to sign in and share the reason why they are late. 

If a pupil arrives late after 9.00am on two or more occasions, a meeting may be arranged with a member of staff to discuss reasons/ difficulties for lateness.

If there are 4 or more U codes accrued within the school year, a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued. 


3. What time are the gates closed and why?

The gates are closed at 8:40am for safeguarding reasons. If the gates are closed, your child will be late and is expected to report to the school office.


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

We expect a parent to telephone the school on the first day of absence and every day their child is absent. If you know your child will be off for longer than one day, please inform the office when you call. If we do not receive an explanation, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence, and this will be shown on your child’s end of year report. The school has an absence line and parents are expected to call before 9:00am. If a message is left, our Attendance Officer will return the call for further information if required.


5. What reasons will the school accept for absences?


If attendance has fallen below 90%, medical evidence will be required i.e. prescription/GP 

appointment card for all absences.



As far as possible, parents will be encouraged to book medical and dental appointments outside of

school hours. Where this is not possible, a note and appointment card will be sent to the school office.

If the appointment requires the child to leave during the school day, they will be signed out at the school office by a parent. Children will be expected to attend school before and after the appointment wherever possible.


Day of religious observance.

The school will take advice from local religious leaders of all faiths to establish the appropriate number of days of absence required for religious festivals. Parents will be required to inform the school in advance if absences are required for days of religious observance.


Family bereavement.

Except in the case of illness, you should ask for permission for your child to miss school in advance, give details of the relationship to the relative that has passed away. 

In cases of recurring absences through illness, you may be asked to produce a medical certificate.


6. What is unacceptable?

The school will not authorise absence for day trips, visiting relatives, shopping, haircuts, birthdays or looking after brothers or sisters etc. 

We will also not authorise absences for attending a sibling’s medical appointment.


7. Term Time Holidays

Following government legislation, we are unable to authorise requests for holiday during term time.

Please be advised that leave of absence in term time is not a right and will only be granted under exceptional circumstances. Each case is considered individually; however, leave will not normally be granted if your child already has low attendance or if the leave coincides with important examinations.

Therefore, no absence of any kind will be authorised for Key Stage 1 and Year 6 from the beginning of the Spring Term until the National Curriculum Tests in early May.


You may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecuted in a magistrate's court if unauthorised holiday is taken. 

The school will require parents to observe the school holidays as prescribed; therefore, the headteacher will be unable to authorise holidays during term-time in most cases. The headteacher will be only allowed to grant a leave of absence in exceptional circumstances.

• Serious AND sudden illness of a close relative and you must leave in an emergency.

• A one-off, never to be repeated occasion that can only happen at that time, e.g., wedding/funeral.

• Any religious observance.

• A significant educational opportunity afforded to the child by a national organisation e.g., ballet/music exams, filming for a TV commercial.

Applications will be made 4 weeks’ in advance and the headteacher will be satisfied by the evidence, which is presented, before authorising term-time leave.

Any requests for leave during term-time will be considered on an individual basis and the child’s previous attendance record will be considered.


8.  Will the school contact me if my child is absent?

The school operates a first day response to absences: we will phone you if we have not heard from you.  This is because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure your child’s safety as well as their regular school attendance.

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


9. 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. Our Pastoral Team and Attendance Officer are also available to discuss your concerns every day before and after school. Your child could be avoiding school for several reasons – difficulties with schoolwork, 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.


10. My child is in Nursery or Reception and not yet compulsory school age.

Although your child does not become of a compulsory school age until the term after they are five, we want to encourage good attendance habits and the importance of coming to school every day. Your child will still receive an unauthorised absence if they are not in school without an authorised reason; however, there will be no referrals to the EWO or external agencies.

We still require our Nursery and Reception parents to inform the school office when their child is not going to be in school.

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REACH2 Academy Trust

Founded in 2012, REAch2 Academy Trust is the largest primary-only academy trust in country.

Registered Address: Henhurst Ridge Primary Academy Henhurst Ridge Burton-Upon-Trent DE13 9TQ Tel: 01283 246433 Email:

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