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St Thomas More's Catholic

Primary School and Pre-School

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Reporting your child's absence

It is vital that the School is informed of any absence as we need to account for all pupils as swiftly as possible each day which allows us to follow up any unreported absences as these could be a safeguarding concern.


If your child is absent you must:

  • Contact school before 9:00am on the first day of absence.

  • Written explanation of the absence to be sent into school on the first day they return, even if you have already telephoned the school or reported it to the school reception.

  • We will endeavour to have every child accounted for by 9.30am.


If your child is absent we will:

  • The SIMS Officer will telephone you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you (it is your responsibility to telephone the school and let us know that your child is absent) – this is because we have a duty to ensure your child’s safety as well as their regular school attendance

  • Invite you in to discuss the situation with our Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and/or HSLW if absences persist.

  • Refer the matter to the Hampshire County Council’s Attendance Legal Panels if absence is unauthorised and falls below 90%.


Third day absence

If your child has not attended school and contact has not been established with any of the named parents/carers, after three days of absence the school is required to start child missing in education procedures as set down by Hampshire County Council guidance. We will make all reasonable enquiries to establish contact with parents/carers and the child, including making enquires to known friends and wider family. School will send a letter asking parents to respond in writing as to why their child/children are absent.


Ten days absence

We have a legal duty to report the absence of any pupil who is absent without an explanation for 10 consecutive days. If the child is not seen and contact has not been established with the named parent/carer then the local authority is notified that the child is at risk of missing. Children’s Services staff will visit the last known address and alert key services to locate the child. So help us to help you and your child by making sure we always have an up-to-date contact number. There will be regular checks on telephone numbers throughout the year.


Continued or ongoing absence

If your child misses 10% (three weeks/sessions) or more schooling across the school year, for whatever reason, they are defined as persistent absentees. Absence for whatever reason disadvantages a child by creating gaps in his or her learning. Research shows these gaps affect attainment when attendance falls below 95%. As such, we monitor all absence thoroughly and all attendance data is shared with the local authority and the Department for Education. If your child has had absence and their attendance level is falling towards 90% we will contact you and, depending on the reasons for the absence, will meet with the parents/carers and implement the following.


All persistent absentee pupils and their parents are subject to an Attendance Action Plan this will be led by the school HSLW. It will be reviewed fortnightly until attendance is above 95% consistently for a half term period. If attendance does not improve as a result of the support and actions put in place, parents will be invited to discuss the matter with the Headteacher and prosecution for non - attendance will be considered.


Request for leave of absence

For national guidance refer to:

  1. School attendance, 2016, located at:


For Hampshire County Council advice and guidance refer to:

  1. Guidance on recording absence:


    2 Guidance on approval of Extended leave of absence:



It is important to be on time at the start of the morning and afternoon school sessions. The start of school is used to give out instructions or organise work. If your child is late they can miss work time with their class teacher forgoing vital information, cause disruption to the lesson for others, and it can be embarrassing leading to possible further absence.

  • The school day begins at 8:45am and all pupils are expected to be in school at this time

  • Morning registration is at 8:45 am and the register closes at 9:15am

  • Arrival at school after 8.45am and before 9.15am, pupils will be marked late (L code)

  • All lateness is recorded daily. This information will be required by the courts, should a prosecution for non-attendance or lateness be necessary

  • Arrival after the close of registration will be marked as unauthorised absence and coded U in line with Hampshire County Council and Department of Education guidance. This mark shows them to be on site, but is legally recorded as an absence

  • If a pupil is late due to a medical appointment, they will receive an authorised absence, coded M. Please be advised that, where possible, doctors and dentists appointments are to be made outside of school hours or during school holidays


Pupils who are consistently late are disrupting not only their own education but also that of the other pupils. Ongoing and repeated lateness is considered as unauthorised absence and will be subject to legal action.


Your child's attendance is reviewed every half term.

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