At St Mary’s we have high expectations of every child to enable them to ‘live life to the full’.  High attendance plays a vital role in our school and families achieving this together.


When does my child need to be in School?

Your child needs to be lining up on the playground by 8.50 am.  If your child arrives after 8:50 am, you must take them to the School Office to register.  Parents/Carers are not allowed on the school site after 8:50 am without having signed in first with an appropriate reason.

What happens if my child is late?

  • Registration finishes at 9.05 am in the morning
  • If you child arrives between 8.55 am and 9.05 am he/she will be marked late
  • If your child arrives after 9.05 am he/she will be marked as absent

Pupils who arrive after 8:55 am should report to the school office, and sign the Late Book.  If a pupil is late on two or more occasions 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 telephone the school on the first day of absence.  If you do not phone us, we will phone you.  However, we need a written explanation on your child’s return to school.  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?

We appreciate that families often have genuine reasons for wishing to spend time together during term time.  However, it will have an impact on your child’s progress.  It also puts an extra burden on our staff to help your child catch up.  Please discuss any requests for absence in plenty of notice with Mrs Harrison and/or Mrs Cooper.  You will be asked to complete an absence request form.

  • Illness-depending on attendance level medical evidence needed i.e. prescription/GP appointment card.
  • 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.  In cases of recurring absences through illness you may be asked to produce a medical certificate.

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.

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

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.  Your child will bring home a school diary each evening.  Please ensure you look at it with your child and sign it ready for the next day.

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

Contact your child’s class teacher or Headteacher immediately and openly discuss your worries.  Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons – difficulties with school work, bullying, 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.

In some cases you may find it helpful to discuss the circumstances of your child’s difficulties with an Education Welfare Officer.  The school may also refer you to an Education Welfare Officer who works with staff and families if difficulties with attendance arise.​

Sickness and Diarrhoea

If your child has been sick and/or had Diarrhoea we recommend that they do not return to school for 48 hours.

If your child feels unwell and you are unsure as to whether they should be in school, either ring or speak to our School Office for advice.


Being on time for school is VERY important.

You wouldn’t miss the first 5 minutes of your favourite TV programme

You wouldn’t miss the first 5 minutes of a film

So why would you miss the first 5 minutes of school?

If you are 5 minutes late every school day, you will miss a total of 3 full school days a year. If you are 5 minutes late every day of your school life, you will miss a total of 7 weeks of your schooling which is 1 whole half term!!!

Top tips for helping your child to be on time

  • Organise school bags, lunch and school uniform the night before.
  • Make some family rules about using the computer or television, limit use before school and bedtime.
  • Allow enough time to travel to school, taking into account traffic and parking.
  • Regularly check the bus or train times, if your child travels to school by public transport, as these can change. Keep a spare copy of the timetable at home.
  • Allow your child enough time to eat breakfast.
  • Get to bed on time!

Making sure that your child is getting the best start to their day will help them settle into the school routine and encourage their learning.​

If you are having difficulties with getting your child to school or you would like some help or advice with strategies, please talk to the School Office or Mrs Cooper.  More information is also available in the school's Attendance Policy.


St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School
Kirkley Cliff, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0DG
Tel: 01502 565384

Please contact the school office if you require a paper copy of the information on our website or wish to speak to our SENCo - Mrs Ware.