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St Mary's Bentworth

Church of England Primary School

Love, Respect, Belong

Attendance and Absence procedures

Promoting good attendance

At St Mary’s Bentworth CE Primary school we want your child to achieve the full potential while they are with us and beyond. Having good attendance and punctuality will give your child the best chance of achieving this. The Government expects a minimum of 96% attendance for pupils at primary school.


If children arrive late (after 9am) they will receive a late mark in the register, please sign them in at the office and let them enter through the front entrance. As a parent, you will also have to write down the reason for the lateness on an individual record sheet. There is no entrance for parents/visitors through the side doors which are locked as a security measure.


Absence from school



If your child will be absent from school through illness please telephone the school office first thing in the morning on 01420 562117. You can leave a message on the absence line anytime. Please provide your child’s name, class and reason for absence in the message. The school office is manned from 8:30am-5:00pm (4:30pm on Fridays) if you would like to speak to someone.


Parents are sometimes unsure whether to keep children off school and you may find the guidance in the link below helpful:

Can a child go to school/nursery today?


Please note if your child has sickness or diarrhoea, they should be kept off school until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have gone. If we feel your child has come back to school too early, we will contact you.


Medical appointments

Where possible please try to avoid booking routine medical, optical, dental or hospital appointments during school hours. We do understand this is not always possible and sometime it is unavoidable that these appointments will be during the school day. Advanced notice of appointments should be given via the medical advice note available at the school office and on the website (under Parents, Standard forms).


Leaving during the school day

For security reasons, any child needing to leave school for an appointment or through illness should be signed out at the front desk.



All other absences must be requested in advance by completing an ‘Absence from school due to exceptional circumstances’ form, available from the office. This should be filled in in advance and before making any travel arrangements. Schools are only able to authorise absence in exceptional circumstances. The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are rare, significant, or unavoidable which means the event could not reasonably be scheduled for another time.

When making a request for a leave of absence we ask parents to consider:

  • The timing of the request, in particular the importance of pupils being present for the beginning of term.
  • Previous attendance during the year.
  • Whether there are any educational visits or special learning events being held during the time of the request.
  • The impact of the request on the child’s social development and overall well-being.

When considering a request the Headteacher and Governors will use their discretion in line with county and government policy but in particular will consider whether there are extraordinary circumstances and the factors listed above. There is no legal entitlement for time off in school time to go on holiday and in the majority of cases holiday will not be authorised.

Please see the office for any further clarification or in the event of exceptional circumstances.


Information on penalty notices for non attendance at school leaflet


Further information

The following links provide further information regarding the school’s approach to attendance at school:


St Mary’s CE Primary School Attendance and Punctuality policy


Hampshire County Council guidance for parents



"I can't put into words what St. Mary's has done for my child in one term! Thank you!"


"We are well and truly blessed with an amazing school, teaching staff, support staff and head teacher."


"Thank you for leading such a wonderful, inclusive and thriving school."


"St. Mary's is a special place. Children just love it and are embraced for who they are, with all the potential they hold!"


"I have never come across a school so friendly."


"We never doubted our move to St. Mary's but we regularly get these moments of feeling absolutely certain that it's the best place for our children - thank you."

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