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St Edmund's Catholic School

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Late/Absence Procedures

Attendance and Punctuality


Good attendance is crucial to a child's success. We ask parents to take an active interest in attendance and encourage their child to aim for a 100% attendance record. To this end, we expect parents and students to attend routine dental and medical appointments out of school hours and to take all family holidays in school holiday time.


Contacting school by phone to report absence


For student absence please ring before 8:35 am using the main switchboard and press 1 for student absence. If absence is not notified before this time you may receive a message from our absence line.


Tel: 01304 201551 (main switchboard option 1)



8:35 am - All students should be at their tutor room when the bell rings to receive their morning registration mark.


8:35 am - Tutors take the register. Students arriving between 8:35 am and 9:00 am must go to form and will receive an ‘L’ late mark in the register.


9:00 am  - Students arriving after this time must sign in with the Attendance Officer and then make their way straight to lesson. They will receive an ‘U’ late mark in the register.


Lessons - Registers are taken at the start of each lesson; students arriving late are marked late by class teachers.





Any student who arrives to school late will have a lunch time detention that day for either 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the timed lateness.


Students' lateness will be monitored, and parents will be informed of any concerns via phone calls or letter.


If a student's lateness continues an escalation process will start which may result in the students being placed within an after-school hours provision.


Students who arrive after 9:15 am will receive a ‘U’ late mark which counts as an unauthorised absence. 

The attendance officer will contact you to discuss unauthorised absences, and these are considered by the Education Welfare Officer who may recommend that legal action is taken to improve attendance and punctuality.


This could result in a £120 Education Penalty Notice or a prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court.



Information to parents


Parents/carers will receive a text message daily where a student has not registered and no reason has been given for the absence. This will be followed up with a telephone call from the attendance officer. This forms part of school’s safeguarding procedures.


Attendance information is also reported to parents/carers through regular letters and school reports. Where there are concerns, home visits will be made to offer support.


Medical evidence to support absence


Where attendance concerns have been shared with parents/carers, medical evidence in the form of an appointment card or copy of a prescription will be required to authorise absences




Authorised absence

An absence is classified as authorised when a child has been away from school for a legitimate reason and the school has received notification from a parent or carer. For example, if a child has been unwell and the parent telephones the school to explain the absence.


Only the school can make an absence authorised. Parents do not have this authority. Consequently, not all absences supported by parents will be classified as authorised.


Unauthorised absence

An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of the school.


Therefore the absence is unauthorised if a child is away from school without good reason, even with the support of a parent.


First Day Contact

Where a child is absent from school and we have not received any verbal or written communication from the parent, then we initiate a first day contact process. The Attendance Officer checks all of the registers from 9:00 am to 9:30 am on a daily basis, to identify those pupils who are absent. There are occasions when we are unaware why the child is absent and we will contact the parent to check the reasons for the child’s absence.



When children have an illness that means they will be away from school long term, the school will do all it can to send material home, so that they can keep up with their school work.


Where over the course of an academic year, a child has repeated periods of illness, the school will write to parents to ask them to provide medical evidence for each future period of illness related absence. This evidence could be a Doctor’s note, appointment card or copy of a prescription. We may seek written permission from you for the school to make their own enquiries.


Parental Request for Absence from School for Holiday

With effect from September 2013 the government abolished the right of Headteachers to authorise absence specifically for holidays of up to 10 days per year if special circumstances exist. Instead, Headteachers will only be allowed to grant leave of absence for any reason if they are satisfied exceptional circumstances exist.

Poor attendance has a huge impact on attainment

Our Mission and Values

“Therefore learn as if to live forever; live as if to die tomorrow” (St Edmund of Abingdon)

Read Our Values & Ethos Statement

Trust Information

St Edmund's Catholic School is an academy, and part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership. The Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address: Barham Court, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5BZ. St Edmund's Catholic School is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.