Central Avenue
Newton Aycliffe
Co. Durham

01325 300339

St Mary's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School

Attendance at St Mary's RC Primary School


We have an obligation to students and the Local Authority to ensure that our attendance is as high as possible; there is a link between poor attendance and reduced attainment. Our aim at St Mary’s RC Primary School is for a student to achieve at least  95% attendance.


We would be grateful for your help in ensuring your child’s regular attendance, including their punctual arrival at school. Hopefully the following information will help you to do that.


  • If your child is ill. Please telephone 01325 300339 or email us at office@stmarysna.bhcet.org.uk  before 9.15am.
  • Leave of absence for Medical appointments and other brief absence. Please telephone or send a note or email in advance explaining the reasons for the absence. A Leave of Absence Slip will then be issued.
  • Lateness. Our 'Start of the Day Bell' sounds at 8.50am. The main gate is locked at 8.55am If your child arrives to school after the gate is locked they will need to go to the office and sign in.
  • Holiday Requests. The attendance regulations state that from the 1st September 2013 Headteachers may no longer grant any leave of absence during term time for holiday. This means that as a school we are not able to authorise any holiday requests and any holiday taken will be marked as unauthorised absence. The school is penalised for unauthorised absence so we hope that you will support us in this and not make any requests for holiday absence.
  • Absence Calling. We operate an absence calling policy where we call parents when a child is absent from school where we have not been advised of a reason for the absence. We begin making calls at 9.30am, so all information received by this time, whether by telephone or email, is taken into account when we make the call. If you contact us after this time or your child arrives late at school (after 9.30), there is a chance you will have received or are about to receive a call from us. This is to safeguard your child and give you peace of mind. 

Attendance Policy


Application for Pupil Leave of Absence in Exceptional Circumstances During Term Time Form


A form should be completed by the parent/carer and returned to the school as far in advance as possible and at least 6 weeks before the first date of the period of leave being requested. Parents/carers must obtain the schools permission before making any arrangements for leave in exceptional circumstances, otherwise the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.

No parent/carer can demand leave of absence as of right. The Education regulations state that applications for leave must be made in advance by a parent with whom the child lives and can only be authorised by the school in exceptional circumstances. Each application is considered individually by the school.

The following are examples of the criteria for leave of absence, which may be considered as exceptional:

Service personnel returning from active deployment

 Where inflexibility of the parent's leave or working arrangement is part of the organisational or company policy. This would need to be evidenced by the production or confirmation from the organisation/company

 Where leave is recommended as part of a parents' or child's rehabilitation from medical or emotional problems.

Evidence must be provided.

 When a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis


Please note: Headteachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional

This is not an exhaustive list and Headteachers must consider the individual circumstances of each case when making a decision on this matter. Where a Headteacher feels that there may be exceptional circumstances which do not fit the criteria, they may refer to the local authority for advice. The decision of the Headteacher is final.

Parents who take a child on leave in term time without the permission of the school risk being issued with a penalty notice fine for unauthorised absences.

Taking a pupil on leave during term time interrupts teaching and learning and can disrupt educational progress. Before completing this application parent/carers are asked to consider the effect on their child's continuity of education.