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Absence from School

Attendance and Punctuality

At Stella Maris we aim for 100% attendance and punctuality, it gives children the best possible start to life and ensures they are able to keep up with their learning. 


Persistent lateness causes disruption to the rest of the class and causes embarrassment to the child arriving late.  It makes the session harder for the child to settle as they may have missed vital instructions.


Our Home Page has an Attendance tab at the bottom menu; here you can see how each year group is performing as a rolling year to date along with the whole school attendance level.

Moments Matter, Attendance Counts

At Stella Maris, we encourage working together with parents and families to ensure attendance is a priority for all children.   Where attendance becomes a slight concern, we begin to work with families to enable the child to return to good attendance as quick as possible.   


Advice from the NHS Chief Medical Officer is that is usually appropriate to send children to school with mild respiratory illnesses, including general cold symptoms like a minor cough, runny nose or sore throat.


The school will of course monitor your child closely and should they deteriorate through the day, the school will call home and encourage you to collect them early. 


If you are unsure if your child should attend school, please contact the school office for advice.  Below you will find the link to two of our Managing Attendance leaflets that support our Attendance and Absence Policy. 


If your child is absent from school for any reason, please remember that we need some form of official notification.


The best way to do this is to ‘phone the school office – an alternative is to send us a note when your child returns to school.   A verbal message from your child, however, is not acceptable.   


We ask that parents and carers book any medical appointments around the school day where possible. 


It is worth remembering that children constantly absent from school without good reason are, generally speaking, less likely to succeed in life than those with a good attendance record.


Family holidays should be taken during the school holidays, and we are only able to authorise a maximum of 10 days additional leave per year during term time, provided parents fill in the proper Application for Exceptional Leave (copies are available from the school office).  Authorisation will only be given when parents can show that there are exceptional reasons for taking time out of school during the term and a child’s attendance record otherwise is good.


Parents of children in the Unicorns’ Class should remember that we cannot authorise any absence apart from absences due to sickness during SATs week.


Penalty fines

Penalty fines can now be issued to parents whose children regularly miss school without good reason.


Penalty Notices are issued in consultation with the Educational Welfare Officer.  On receipt of the Notice, the penalty is £50 if paid within 28 days, rising to £100 if paid after 28 days but within 42 days.  Failure to pay the penalty in full by the end of the 42 day period may result in prosecution by the local authority.


The following circumstances will be considered appropriate reasons for the issuing of Penalty Notices:


  • Truancy
  • Parentally-condoned absences
  • Excessive term-time holidays
  • Excessive delayed return from extended holidays


Persistent lateness after the register has closed (registers close at 9:00 a.m.).If your child is absent from school for any reason, it is essential that you let us know the reason, by ‘phoning the school office or sending a short note in for the teacher. If you need to collect your child for an appointment (at the doctors, for example) please make sure that a member of staff knows about it beforehand.

Stella Maris Attendance Strategy