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Merley First School


At Merley First School, all the staff know how important good attendance is for children’s well-being and progress. 

What to do when your child is absent from school?

• Telephone the school office, phone number 01202 888455 or report the absence through ParentMail on the first day of absence to explain the reason why your child is away from school.

• If your child is absent for more than one day, please keep the school informed during your child’s absence.

• If your child has a medical or dental appointment please make them out of school hours if possible. If they are in school hours please bring in their appointment card or letter so we can put a copy in their file.

When will absences not be authorised?

• The school will not authorise absence for any of the following reasons: holidays, shopping, looking after other members of the family, minding the house, birthdays or similar events.

Children will be marked in as late after 9 am and children arriving after 9.15 am are recorded as an unauthorised absence. We monitor carefully pupils who arrive late for school and work with parents and carers to improve punctuality.

Why good attendance is important?

In recent years much research has been carried out on the effect that poor attendance can have on children’s progress at school and how well they achieve in life.

Children who do not attend school regularly often have the following problems:

• They are not able to keep up with their work.

• It is difficult, in a busy school day, for teachers to find the time to help your child catch up.

• Children who arrive late and leave early miss important parts of the lesson and disrupt the learning of other children in the class.

This is why Merely First School is making good attendance a top priority. By improving our attendance rates, we will improve the standards that our children achieve and provide them with better chances in life. We can only do this with your full support.

How parents and carers can help:

• Work together with us.

• Send your child to school every day, on time, unless they are genuinely ill.

• Avoid taking your child out of school for holidays.

Family holidays during term time:

• The school  does not authorise absence for family holidays during the school term unless there are exceptional circumstances.

• Parents and carers who choose to take their child out of school for holidays should be aware that such absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’ on the child’s record and may be subject to a fixed penalty notice.

What will happen if my child is often absent from school?

• The school monitors the attendance of all children.

• If your child’s attendance falls below 95%, we will contact you to discuss the situation.

• If absence continues, you will be invited to discuss the reasons for your child’s absence. 

• If necessary, a referral will be made to the attendance team at BCP Council, so that the absence can be further investigated.

What happens when my child is ill?

• There may be times when your child has to miss school because he, or she, is ill.

• You should always contact the school on the first day of absence to let the teacher know that your child is unwell.

It is important to let the school know if your child has ongoing health problems so that the right support can be put in place.