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St James'

Church of England Primary Academy

We Grow Together Through God










All schools are required to monitor attendance, which we regularly do in conjunction with Medway Council’s Attendance Advisory Service.

If your child is absent from school for whatever reason, please contact the office before 9.30am by one of the following methods:

  • telephone the office on 01634 270341 and leave a message on the absence line (option 1);
  • email the office on; or
  • report the absence via your ParentMail app

Failure to report your child's absence may mean that the absence is marked as unauthorised.

If we have not heard from you, we will start to call the contact numbers that you provided in order to gain an explanation for the absence. Should we be unable to contact any of the contacts on your list, a home visit may be deemed necessary to establish the reason for your child's absence.

This procedure is to ensure that we know where your child is and that you are all safe.

Please see below advice from the UK Health Security Agency, which we hope you will find useful:

Late Arrivals

Children who arrive late to school must be signed in at the office. Please remember to advise the office if they need to order a school lunch. 

In accordance with our Attendance Policy, the attendance registers are closed at 9.15am.  This means that any pupil who arrives after the registration period (8.45am to 8.55am) but before the registers are closed (9.15am) will be given a late mark (L) in the register.  This code is classed as a present mark, but displays that the pupil arrived late for school.

Any pupil who arrives after the registers have closed (9.15am) but before the end of the morning session will be given a "late after registers closed" mark (U) in the register.  This code is classed as an unauthorised absence but displays that the pupil was physically present in school for part of the session.

In addition to using the L and U codes, staff will also use the facility within the SIMS attendance module to record the number of minutes late for each pupil, on each occasion.  This facility will allow staff to monitor lateness more effectively and share such information with parents.

Leave of Absence

The Department for Education (DfE) and Local Authority states that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless in exceptional circumstances.  Applications for Leave of Absence must be made in writing to the Headteacher in advance and failure to do so will result in the absence being unauthorised.

Applications for Leave of Absence which are refused will result in the absence being unauthorised, which may result in legal action against the parent, by Fixed Penalty Notice, if the child is absent from school during that period.

From September 2013, the DfE amended the Education (penalty notices) (England) Regulations 2007, so that each parent/carer who receives a Penalty Notice for taking their child out of school during term time has to pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. Please be aware, non-payment of fines will result in Court proceedings.

Collecting your Child during School Hours

If children need to leave the premises during the day, they will need to be accompanied by an adult and a reason must be provided. 

How to Report an Absence

  • Telephone – 01634 270341, selecting option 1 for reporting absence
  • Email stating reason for absence
  • ParentMail - report absence stating reason and duration

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