Holidays and attendance.



As you know, it is a legal requirement for all children to attend school, from the term after their fifth birthday. In this school, children attend school, usually from ages 4 to 11 years old. If a child is absent for any reason, you must telephone the school office on the first day of absence; and for any subsequent days. For a longer term absence, a doctor's note may be requested (eg a broken limb). Moreover, dental and other medical appointments should be arranged, as far as possible, outside school hours. If an absence for these reasons is necessary or deemed unavoidable, a medical appointment card should be given to the school office, prior to the absence. A 24 hour answerphone is available to all parents on 0151 329 3524.

You will have heard in the press that the Government is unhappy with the amount of parents who take their children out of school, for holidays during term time, with details on the Department for Education website.The governors and staff fully support this policy. A holiday or similar unauthorised leave during school time means that children miss key parts of their curriculum; and this can delay their progress. We have seen this happen all too often.

To improve clarity for everyone, anyone requesting holidays will need to arrange a meeting, before booking your holiday, with Mr. Hughes, Headteacher. The Headteacher has the discretion to authorise a holiday or similar leave but only in very exceptional circumstances; and we will be looking at the circumstances more closely from now on.

The meeting will be to ascertain whether the holiday request is a genuine one; if there are special and urgent reasons why this holiday cannot be taken during the normal school holidays. Examples of inappropriate requests include;

  • requests for holidays for Year 2 and Year 6 children, during times of tests (especially May).
  • booking a week's or fortnight's holiday in term time, which could clearly be taken in school holidays,
  • requests for holidays in September, a time when we help your children to settle into their new class, with their new teacher. Experience has shown us that these holidays are very unhelpful to pupils.
  • people who seem to arrange ‘long weekend breaks’, thinking they can miss Fridays and/or Mondays, on more than one occasion
  • people who keep children off for a sequence of odd days without good reason or medical notes
  • holidays where pupils’ attendance is already poor.

The Law states that, from September 2012, the school is able to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to parents who take their children on an unauthorised holiday or similar absences in term time. The cost is normally £60 per week, per parent, rising to £120  per parent if not paid within 28 days. If you fail to pay a penalty fine within 42 days, you will be prosecuted. DO NOT IGNORE FIXED PENALTY NOTICES. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED BY THE LOCAL AUTHORITY THAT TWO NOTICES IN THIS SCHOOL WERE IGNORED IN 2019, THEY THEN WENT TO THE MAGISTRATES COURT - AND PARENTS WERE FINED £240 IN ONE CASE - AND IN ANOTHER CASE, £800.

A similar system is followed by feeder High Schools.

Many thanks to all the families who already help us to support their children, by always taking holidays during school breaks. This helps us all to raise standards for each and every child.

In 2015, 2016. 2017, 2018, 2019 pupil attendance was 97.1%, 96.5%, 96.5%, 95.9% and 96.65% respectively  - better than national figures each year - and OUR HIGHEST ATTENDANCE FIGURES EVER. This really helps children to become settled, to perform well in school and to enjoy their education. Well done everyone! 



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St Mary of the Angels Primary School, Rossall Grove, Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH66 1NN