Attendance & Punctuality

At St. Mary’s our attendance target is 97%.  Promoting regular attendance to school is part of our commitment to Safeguarding, safety and happiness and in raising high levels of achievement. Good attendance at school is the single most important factor to ensure that young people have the maximum life chances.  Good habits of attendance and punctuality are key life skills.




Days off school add up to lost learning

Did you realise that....

* Only 25% of students with absences of 11% or more achieve 5+ A*-C grades at GCSE


The Start of the School Day

Attendance Clock

Form time is an important part of the school day.  Form Tutors are the main point of contact for students and deliver important messages, setting up for the day ready to learn.  All students should arrive to school by 8.25 am – Registration time is 8.30 am and any students who arrive after this time will be marked as late to school and receive a 30 minute after school detention.  Any student arriving after 9.30 am will be recorded as an unauthorised lateness as this is when the school closes the morning register.  Unauthorised absence and unauthorised lateness can incur an Education Penalty Notice and subsequent fine.

How to encourage attendance and punctuality?

  • Ensure your child is fully prepared the night before with school uniform organised and school bag packed with the correct equipment, PE kit and homework.
  • Instil good practises of attendance and punctuality from the start of Year 7 and recognise any signs of bad habits as they become hard to break later in school life.
  • Do not keep your child at home if your child is worried or has a problem, the best way to support your child is to arrange a meeting in school with your child’s Form Tutor to address the situation. The more time your child is absent the harder it is for them to return to school.
  • Contact the school at the first opportunity if your child is genuinely ill or unable to attend, or speak to the Attendance Officer if there is a problem or reason why your child finds it difficult to attend regularly, or on time.
  • Please try to organise non-urgent appointments outside of school time and keep medicals to half day of absence at the most where possible.
  • Praise your child for their achievements in school.
  • Take time to talk to your child about what they have done in school, showing an interest will exhibit the importance of school to your child.

Having excellent attendance will provide your child with the opportunity to make new friends (social time in school is as important as academic studies), to learn new skills and enjoy new experiences through learning. It is vital to encourage independence to give them the best chance of having a good career in the future. We encourage good attendance and punctuality by recognising excellent and good attendance weekly in form, in assemblies, end of term assemblies and Special Headteacher Awards at End of Year Celebration Assemblies.


Parents / Carers have a responsibility to contact school on their child’s first day of absence with an explanation and likely duration of absence.

In case of Absence

Wherever possible call the Absence Line: 01942 884144 or Report an absence using the online form before 8.30 am on the day of absence.  If you expect your child to be absent, please send in medical evidence from your doctor or hospital.  If your child becomes a cause for concern we will request evidence of illness or appointments (this can be the school medical card stamped and dated from your G.P or medical centre, or even the prescription copy).  Should we not receive medical evidence the absence will be recorded as unauthorised – and may result in a penalty notice being issued or legal court proceedings). The Parents and Carers will also be invited to attend a meeting with the school Attendance Officer and Year Lead for a plan of action to improve attendance/punctuality and to investigate any support that may be needed.

Education Penalty Notice updates for parents - January 2019

Regular attendance to school is a vital factor in achieving high levels of attainment and progress and ensuring that our young people have the best life chances.  Good habits of attendance and punctuality are key life skills and I would like to thank parents for continually supporting the school and their child(ren) in achieving these.

Schools in the Wigan Borough work alongside the Local Authority who have recently introduced new criteria relating to unauthorised absences and the issuing of Education Penalty Notices (EPNs).  I am writing to inform you of these changes which take effect from January 2019 and have attached some guidelines for information.  The local authority’s Code of Conduct in relation to EPN’s can also be found on the school website.

St Mary’s and the Local Authority are committed to providing the best possible future for your child(ren). If you have concerns about your son/daughter’s attendance at school or if you are experiencing any difficulties please contact your child’s Head of Year or Mrs Hampson (School Attendance Officer) on the school telephone number to ask for support.

Education Penalty NoticeLeave of Absence Requests

Leave of Absence Form