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St John the Baptist Primary School

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Attendance & Leave of Absence Requests

Attendance & punctuality


It is important that your child arrives on time for school or they may:

  • Miss the start of a lesson and not understand the work
  • Get behind with their work
  • Feel self-conscious or embarrassed about joining the class or worship (assembly) late
  • Miss spending time with friends before lessons
  • Miss the structured start of the day
  • Miss choosing the lunch they prefer


We need to work together to improve attendance. Please help us to continue to achieve our target of 96% by bringing your child to school on time each day and ensuring that they do not miss school for appointments that should be made outside of the school day.  Opticians, dentist and some medical appointments can be made outside of school hours and weekends.


Children arriving late after registration closes will be marked as an unauthorised absence for the morning session. Registers will close 15 minutes after registration – at 9.00am.


If a child is going to be absent please contact school as early as possible in the day. We will contact you if we have not had a reason for absence. You can let us know via:


  • Phone - 01642 607123
  • WhatsApp - 07496368035 (Helen Conroy, Welfare Lead)
  • Facebook Messenger


If a child is going to be absent for a period of time, it is possible to send work home for parents to work alongside the child. For a prolonged absence, due to injury or sickness, it can be arranged for a teacher from the Home and Hospital Service to make home visits.


Attendance support


Our new attendance procedures include a package of school support through our Pastoral Team. If you would like support in getting your child to school, please contact the school office.

My child is ill, should I send them in?


Children will get normal childhood illnesses such as colds and sick bugs. This should not normally impact on their overall attendance.


Children can be sent into school with a cold. You can give them some medicine and send them in. Speak to the office as we will be able to give them some more medicine with your consent later in the day.


We only recommend keeping your child off for the following reasons:

  • High temperature. Return when their temperature has returned to normal.
  • Sickness and diarrhoea. Return 48 hours after the last episode of sickness or diarrhoea.
  • Chicken pox. Return 5 days after the onset of the rash.
  • Scarlett fever. Return 48hrs after starting the antibiotics.
  • Impetigo. Return 48hrs after starting the antibiotics

There are other illness, such as measles, where your child may need to be off school. Please ring us for advice if you are unsure. 


School holidays


It is important to note that, following Government guidelines, we are not able to authorise holidays in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Holidays for pupils in Year 6 and Year 2 will not be authorised at all during May, as this is the time they will be completing their tests. Year 1 children also will not be authorised during June when they must complete their phonics test, along with Year 4 pupils who complete their Multiplication Test.


Please read the information below from Stockton Borough Council regarding Penalty Notices for unauthorised absences:




The amount of a penalty notice will increase for all penalty notices issued from 19th August 2024.


The criteria for the issue of a penalty notice will be 10 sessions of unauthorised absence in a 10-week period.

In a 3-year rolling period there will be a 2 penalty notice limit to the same parent for the same child.


  • The first penalty notice issued in respect of the pupil will be charged at £160, reduced to £80 if paid within 21 days.
  • The second penalty notice issued to the same parent in respect of the same pupil will be charged at a flat rate of £160 if paid within 28 days.
  • A third penalty notice will not be issued to the same parent for the same child in this rolling 3-year period and an alternative legal sanction will be given, this may include prosecution in the magistrate court.


If you have already applied for leave of absence that will take place after 19th August 2024 the penalty notice will be charged as above.

Part payments and payment schemes are not in operation for penalty notices, you must pay the full amount within the timescale set out above.  

You can continue to apply for leave of absence in term time, you must inform the head teacher at the school of the circumstances for the leave of absence detailing any exceptional circumstances.

The head teacher will decide based on the information you provide in your request whether the leave of absence will be authorised and will write and tell you the decision.

Applications for leave of absence can be obtained from the school. Once completed please arrange for requests to be sent in good time wherever possible.

The local authority code of conduct for the issue of penalty notices will be updated prior to 19th August and will be available on Stockton-on-Tees Council website, a link will be added to the school website.

Everyone Different, Everyone Loved