A Parent’s Guide to Attendance

These are the attendance expectations for parents of Sir Alexander Fleming Nursery and Primary School. It will explain what we classify as an authorised or unauthorised absence and explain our monitoring processes. All schools are required by law to keep attendance registers for morning and afternoon sessions.

Absences must either be marked as Authorised or Unauthorised.

Only the school can approve the reason for the absence.

At SAF our aim is for all our children to have attendance above 96%

What is an authorised absence?

  • If your child is ill and you have contacted the school before 9.10am
  • If your child is attending a medical appointment and school have seen evidence.
  • Religious observance

What is an unauthorised absence?

  • If the parent has received a SAL 2 letter and need to provide evidence of illness and are unable to do this.
  • Your child not attending school due to birthday celebrations, visiting family, friends, going shopping or having their hair cut.
  • Your child taking a full day off school for medical/dental appointments
  • Your child arriving to school after 9.10am
  • Your child being absent with an ailment that school would expect them to attend with (headaches, cold, treated after headlice)
  • Your child taking a holiday during term time that has not been authorised by the headteacher
  • Your child missing school due to a medical/dental appointment for a parent/sibling.


It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure their children arrive at school on time.

School has a clear procedure for the ‘start of the school day’. The doors open at 8.30am.  We expect children to be waiting ready to enter their class at 8.30am.  The class doors close promptly at 8.40am and the site manager locks the gates.

Children arriving after 8.40am have to enter school from school reception and receive a Late Mark.


Children who are not in the classroom at 8.40am, ready to start the school day are late. They will be recorded as late on the class register.

Children who arrive after 9.10am will receive an unauthorised absence mark for the morning session as the morning registers have closed.

All students arriving late must enter school via the school reception where parents must sign their child into school with an explanation of why they are late.

Late arrival at school may result in:

  • Your child feeling stressed or anxious
  • Your child learning less and achieving poorer outcomes
  • Your child disrupting the learning of others
  • Parents receiving a fine if children arrive after 9.10am on a regular basis


If your child is too unwell to attend, school must be notified by 9.10am

Parents must report all absences to the school office via email or by leaving a voice message on 01952 327820.  We ask that parents do not give absence messages to teacher or school staff via Seesaw.

Where an illness lasts longer that one day, we ask parents to inform us daily of their child’s absence.

If school recognises a pattern of absence, we will contact parents to see if any support is needed and in some cases we will ask for medical evidence that the child has been seen by a GP.

Medical/Dental appointments

We ask that wherever possible all appointments are made outside of the school day.  Where this is not possible children should only be absent from school for their appointment and not all day.

For morning appointments, we request that your child attends school in the morning to receive their registration mark at 8.30am and then leaves for their appointment.

For afternoon appointments during school hours, we ask that your child receives their registration mark at 1.00pm and then leaves for their appointment.

Appointments will only be authorised where evidence of the appointment has been seen at the school office.
Without them it will be recorded as unauthorised.

Leave of absence

Leave of absence in term time can only be authorised by the Head Teacher in exceptional circumstances.

All requests will only be considered if parents have completed a Leave in Absence form. This is obtained from the school office. The Head Teacher who will consider each request on an individual basis.



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