At Our Lady's Catholic Primary School we place great importance on all our children attending regularly and on time.

Attendance at our school compares very well with national averages and we work very hard to keep this figure high.

It should be noted that there is no standard definition of authorised/unauthorised absence. It is school policy that all holiday taken in term time is unauthorised. In exceptional circumstances the headteacher may authorise absence as long as your child’s attendance isn’t likely to drop below 94% (which is equivalent to 2 weeks missed from school) for the year. The headteacher will not authorise any absence for children whose whole school attendance is below 92%.

If your child is sick and cannot attend school you should telephone the school by 9.30am on 01494 726390. You should continue to telephone for each morning of absence, unless on the first day you know for certain your child is not going to return for a set amount of days, if so please advise the office on the first morning. Please leave a message on the answering machine if no-one is available to take your call.

On the first day of returning to school after any absence you should write to us to let us know the reason for the absence. You can email this letter to

This is a safeguard for parents as it reduces the risk of truanting taking place.

Please remember:

  • If your child is absent from school or is persistently late this will affect the academic progress they make.
  • The legal responsibility for ensuring your child attends school is with YOU, the parents.
  • Local authorities can and will take action against those parents who are failing in this duty.
  • Taking holidays within school term is unauthorised and will be recorded and count toward the schools Ofsted results.

Please note that recent changes to legislation make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Headteachers no longer have the discretion to allow up to ten days in a school year for a family holiday or to agree to extended leave for parents to visit their country of origin. Consequently, if your child is absent from school because of a holiday which has not been agreed, this will be classified as an unauthorised absence and you may be fined or legal action taken against you. I am sure that you will want the best education for your child. By taking family holidays during the designated holiday periods, you will be supporting your child's full school attendance, learning and development.