Marsh Lane Primary School<

Marsh Lane Primary School

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The staff and governors at Marsh Lane Primary School are committed to ensuring the highest possible school attendance for all its pupils. 

At Marsh Lane Primary School we realise the importance of all children attending school every day and on time. Every day really does count! As a School, we set a minimum expectation of attendance for each pupil of 96%.

We know that a child’s attendance has a direct impact on their learning. Those children who are regularly absent from school and regularly late do not achieve their potential and do fall behind their peers. Please support school by ensuring that your child attends school regularly and arrives ready to learn and on time at 8.50am.

Our aim is to work alongside parents and families to ensure that pupil attendance is
above the national average.  

At Marsh Lane Primary we seek to ensure that all of our pupils receive a full-time education, which maximises opportunities for each pupil to realise his/her true potential.  We continually strive to provide a welcoming, caring environment, whereby each member of the school community feels wanted and secure. All school staff will work with pupils and their families to ensure each pupil attends school regularly and punctually.

Pupils can come into school from 8.45am and the school day starts promptly at 8.50 a.m. If a child arrives at school after 8.50 a.m. without prior arrangements having been agreed, he/she will be deemed late. Registers close at 9.00 a.m.

Pupils arriving at school after 8.50 a.m. must enter through the main gates and report to the school office to be signed in by an adult. Pupils leaving school for any reason must report to the office before they go so that we can ensure that they are signed out.  

What is expected of the pupils?

  • To do all they can to attend school regularly and punctually

  • To inform a trusted adult if they feel that they are being bullied

  • To look after belongings and ensure they are prepared for the day.

What is expected of the Parents?

  • To keep requests for their child to be absent to a minimum

  • To offer a reason, or medical proof, for any period of absence, preferably before the absence or on the first day of absence

  • To ensure that their child arrives at school on time, a reason should be offered for any lateness

  • To work closely with the school and the Family Support Workers if required, to resolve any problems that may impede a child’s attendance

  • To take family holidays during school holiday periods and be aware that requests for holidays during term time will be refused except in special/exceptional circumstances.

  • To be aware of curriculum requirements and be especially vigilant with regards to attendance during important academic times such as SATS

  • To support their child and recognise their successes and achievements

Types of Absence

Every half-day absence from school, by law, has to be classified as either authorised or unauthorised. This is why information about the cause of absence is always asked for.

Authorised Absences

These are mornings or afternoons away from school for a valid reason such as illness, emergency medical or dental appointments (routine appointments should always be made out of school hours) and emergencies.

Unauthorised Absences

An absence is classified as unauthorised if the reason was not recognised as acceptable. The Department for Education (DfE) and Local Education Authorities provide information for schools as to what is acceptable and what is not.

Examples of reasons that would not be accepted:

  • A birthday
  • A shopping trip
  • Day trips
  • Holidays – unless have been agreed as exceptional circumstance

 Leave of Absence Procedures

 As detailed in our Attendance Policy, and in line with DfE guidance, we do not authorise leave of absence during term other than when exceptional circumstances permit. If you wish to take your child out of school, during term time, it is important to discuss this with us as much in advance as possible so we can guide you through the process. 

However, where absence is unauthorised, it could lead to further action being taken including a penalty notice being issued. Department for Education information regarding this is available by following this link:

Attendance Monitoring

As attendance and punctuality is so important to us, we cannot be complacent where there are instances of unacceptable, low pupil attendance, or if pupils are regularly late to school.

Attendance is closely monitored and checked. Each week, a list of children whose attendance has dropped below 96% is generated and a letter is sent out to notify parents of this. 

Children with below 90% attendance are classified as ‘persistent absentees’. This equates to 19 days+ of absence a year or 100+ missed lessons. Missing so much school has an obvious negative impact on a child’s education and as such school will do everything necessary to address it. Once children hit this trigger, parents will be called in to school for a meeting with the Headteacher and School Attendance Officer to complete an agreement whereby attendance will be closely monitored until targets are met. Failure to meet targets will result in an immediate referral to the Local Authority School Attendance officer.

Continued unauthorised absences could then result in a penalty notice being issued by the Local Authority and in some cases legal action being taken. 


If your child is poorly and cannot attend school, the absence should be reported by 9.15am at the latest.  You can either ring the school or send a note with a sibling, but we must hear from parents directly rather than from other parents or children.

Leave in Term Time

As a school, we are not allowed to authorise any requests for children to be taken out of school for a holiday during term time.

Requests for leave can only be granted in exceptional circumstances such as:

  • A family wedding
  • A death in the family
  • A family crisis

A holiday would not be considered exceptional. However, leave may be granted to those serving in the armed forces and shift workers that can show a holiday in term time is unavoidable. Requests for leave must be made to the school in advance. To do this please come in to the school office to complete the necessary form. 

We appreciate the challenges that some parents face when booking holidays, particularly during the school holidays. However, regular attendance at school is vital in helping children and young people to achieve their full potential and get the best possible start in life.

Parents may receive a penalty notice if their child is absent from school without permission.


Poor punctuality can lead to your child…

  • Feeling embarrassed in front of their friends
  • Missing the beginning of vital lessons making them fall behind
  • Missing important instructions for the rest of the school day
  • Learning bad habits which could affect their employability in the future

The table below shows just how much education could be missed by being late to school each day.

Our attendance policy can be found here (opens a new window).

Attendance Guidance & Information 

Working together to improve school attendance May-22.pdf

Summary table of responsibilities for attendance May-22.pdf