By having attendance on or above 97% as well as meeting other school expectations, your child will qualify for a range of rewards during each half term. This will include, but is not limited to; individual/ group/year group rewards and each term, there will be an opportunity to qualify for an attendance reward activity.

If a learner does not attend school, or is not taking part in an approved educational activity, they are classed as ABSENT from school.  This means that if your child is off school for any reason, even if they are ill or have medical permission to be off school, they are classed as ABSENT. Missing lessons leaves students vulnerable to falling behind, creating gaps in their learning and lowering their self-confidence.

** Please note that if an absence is authorised attendance % is still affected.


How can you help?


We ask for the support of our parents/carers in supporting good attendance by:

  1. Promote positive and healthy attendance patterns with your child and set good bedtime and morning routines.
  2. Ensure your child attends every day, on time and equipped and ready to learn.
  3. Ensure school has at least 3 up to date addresses and contact numbers.
  4. Contact School on the first day of absence by 08.30am to provide a reason for absence.
  5. Contact the school each day of absence until your child returns.
  6. If contact is not made the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. The school is responsible for deciding if the absence is acceptable or not.
  7. Provide medical evidence for any absence exceeding 5 days (10 sessions) or more.
  8. Ensure medical appointments are made outside of school time. If this is not possible, your child needs to be in school prior to and after the appointment. We will need medical evidence upon their return.
  9. Holiday requests during term time will not be authorised due to the significant impact on progress. Parents/carers who take their children out of school for a holiday may be issued with a Penalty Notice.
  10. Contact school if you are experiencing difficulty getting your child to attend school.
  11. Work with the school and any other agencies of support to resolve any difficulties which may affect regular school attendance.


Where absence is unavoidable, the School is very happy to ensure that work is provided so that our students do not fall behind in their progress.

Request leave of absence in term time for exceptional circumstance by following the School Procedure:



Leave of Absence Requests

Leave of Absence Form





 What is classed as persistent absence?

Persistent Absence is classed as any absence that equates to over 10% of the academic year at any given time. Any learner who appears on the persistent absence list may be monitored by Wigan School Attendance Services.

The thresholds are set out below:


Please note that 90% on a test is seen as a positive achievement however in attendance terms anything less than 90% is a serious concern. We should be striving for 100% attendance each year.


Attendance Support Team

We have a dedicated team of staff at St. Mary’s who work on Attendance: Office & Attendance Manager, Attendance Officer, Heads of Years, Classroom Assistants, Family Liaison Worker and Pastoral Managers at each Key stage scrutinise our attendance data daily and work closely with Wigan Education Welfare Services.

As you would expect, we have very high standards and are committed to all our students making maximum progress. The Attendance staff are always happy to offer advice and support to students, parents and families on effective strategies for maximising attendance. If you would like more details please do not hesitate to contact School.  Further details can be found in the School's 'Attendance for Learning Policy'.







Lost minutes = lost learning



 There is a clear link between attendance and punctuality and attainment. The more time a pupil spends in school the more likely they are to improve their opportunity to fulfil their full potential.

How can you help!

  • Ensure your child is at school and ready to learn before the bell rings each day
  • Students should be at their line up point at 8:30am ready for tutor time.
  • Make sure school bags are packed the night before and that your child gets up with plenty of time to eat and get ready.

Being late doesn’t only affect your child, it disrupts other children in the class as well as the teachers trying to teach a lesson. However, if you do think you are going to be late, please do not keep your child off school for the rest of the day. Being late and in school is better than being absent and missing out. If your child is late for a genuine, unavoidable reason please phone the school office. 

Punctuality to lessons is also extremely important. The start of a lesson is when important recall activities take place to ensure learning gaps are filled. Students have an allocated 5-minute transition period from one lesson to the next, all students should be in their lesson before the start of lesson bell, or they will be classed as late. Students who are late throughout the day will make up their lost time over lunch and after school.  

The Law

A school has to take a register of all pupils first thing in the morning and sometime during the afternoon. The Government allows schools to decide how long the registers will remain open, this is generally around 30 minutes, however this may be for a shorter period. 

If a pupil arrives late to school but whilst the register is still open, they are marked as late (L on the attendance register). We believe that teaching students, the vital skill of reliability is important for them to achieve their full potential in school but also to support them for the wider world where punctuality is very important for employers and further education settings.

If a pupil arrives at school after the register has closed, without a satisfactory reason, this may be classed as an unauthorised absence (U code on the attendance register) and may lead to prosecution for not ensuring your child has regular school attendance.