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Attendance and Absence

It is our responsibility to promote excellent attendance for all pupils so that they can achieve and do well.  The aim at Maple Tree Primary School is a minimum of 97% attendance.

Time off for holidays, or being late into school, may not seem like much, but when we talk to our older children about their experiences they often say that they’d missed out on time with their friends, or felt they’d missed part of the learning.  Did you know that being 5 minutes late every day is the equivalent of 3 days missed learning?

For some of our parents, starting school might be the first experience of being separated from a young child and we know this can feel a bit daunting for you.

We are here to help you in setting up a routine, and helping your child.  If you want any advice or help please speak to your child’s class teacher.


An Attendance Guide for Parents

When does my child need to be in School?

Early Years open their doors at 9am. 

School doors open 8:45 for Years 5 and 6 and close at 8:55 for Years 1-4. Doors close at 9am.

Your child should go straight into class. By them arriving in good time for registration, they are able to settle in to their early morning work.

Morning Registration: 9am

Afternoon Registration: 1:00pm for Reception - Year 2; 1.15pm for Years 3-4; 1.30pm for Years 5-6 

End of school: 15:30

What happens if my child is late?

Registration finishes at 9.10 in the morning and 13:15 (EYFS/KS1); 1.30(LKS2); 1.45pm (UKS2) in the afternoon.

If your child arrives between 9.00 and 9:15 he/she will be marked late.

If your child arrives after 9:15 they will be marked as an unauthorised absence (late after registers closed)

Pupils who arrive after registration should report to the school office, and sign the late book. If a pupil is late regularly, a meeting will be arranged with a member of staff to discuss reasons/ difficulties for lateness.

Does the School need letters explaining my child’s absence or will a phone call do?

We would expect a parent to contact the school on the first day of absence. This can be done via the study bugs app. Click here for more information.

Alternatively you can report absence by telephone or via email to the school office If you do not contact us, we will phone you. If we do not receive an explanation, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence, and this will be shown on your child’s end of year report.

What reasons will the school accept for absences?

  • Illness
  • Emergency dental/medical appointment (Please make routine appointments after school or during the holidays)
  • Day of religious observance
  • Family bereavement

Except in the case of illness, you should ask for permission for your child to miss school well in advance, giving full details.  Please complete the 'application for leave of absence' form.  This can be found under parents info > virtual office > forms.

In cases of recurring absences through illness you may be asked to produce a medical certificate.

What is unacceptable?

The school will not authorise absence for day trips, holidays, visiting relatives, shopping, birthdays or looking after brothers or sisters etc.

What happens if my child has an unauthorised absence?

If you child is absent from school on a family holiday without authorisation the school may ask the council to serve a Penalty Notice. This Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 which, if not paid within 21 days, rises to £120. If you are issued with a Penalty Notice and you fail to pay it within 28 days you will be prosecuted in court.

Please see Central Bedfordshire guidance for holidays in term times. 

Will the school contact me if my child is absent?

The school operates a first day response to absences: we will phone you if we have not heard from you. This is because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure your child’s safety as well as their regular school attendance. If we are concerned about aspects of your child’s attendance or punctuality, we will contact you to discuss the best way forward.

Why have I received a letter informing me of my child’s attendance?

The school has a duty to monitor the attendance of every child on roll. Each month our Attendance Officer and Headteacher reviews the attendance patterns for all pupils. Any child whose attendance is a cause for concern will receive a letter. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may be asked to just keep an eye on attendance, to provide medical evidence to support any more absences or be called into school for a meeting to set up an attendance plan.

What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?

Talk positively about school and ensure that your child knows that you expect them to go to school every day. Encourage them to talk about their day and support them with their reading and homework. Make sure your child gets enough sleep and gets up in plenty of time each morning. Ensure that he/she leaves home in the correct clothes and properly equipped. Show your child, by your interest, that you value his/her education.

My child is trying to avoid coming to school. What should I do?

Contact your child’s class teacher immediately and openly discuss your worries. Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons – difficulties with school work, friendship problems, family difficulties. It is important that we identify the reason for your child’s reluctance to attend school and work together to tackle the problem