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Darrington CE Primary School promotes the view that the regular attendance is crucial to ensure the best possible learning outcomes for all of our children. Any absence from school is detrimental to a child’s education and progress as it disrupts learning, routines and progress. Parents also have a legal responsibility to ensure their child’s attendance at school.

Within school we celebrate excellent and improved attendance in the weekly Proud Assembly, presenting SAM the attendance mascot to the year group with the highest weekly attendance. We also celebrate 100% for individual children by presenting certificates and prizes at the end of the term and school year.

As a parent you can help us by:

  • Ringing on the first morning of all absences with the reason and saying when your child will return. Contact the school as soon as possible if absence is unavoidable and follow this up with a written explanation.
  • Arranging dental and medical appointments out of school hours during school breaks. Obtain evidence where possible to support medical absence.
  • Sending in a note explaining the reason for absence on your child’s return to school after an illness.
  • Keeping us updated by telephone or letter if your child has an extended period of absence due to illness.
  • Ensure pupils arrive at school on time every day and that routines are in place at home to support this.
  • Avoid term time holidays and attempt to minimise school time appointments.
  • If you intend to take your child out of school for a holiday during term time, you must put this in writing to the headteacher. This will be an Unauthorised Absence. 


The law states that children should arrive at school on time, everyday. School opens at 8:40am and registration is at 8:45am. The expectation is that pupils should be at school ready to learn for that time. Children are expected to wait on the school playground and line up in classes when their class teacher comes out to collect them. If the weather is bad the school doors will be opened for children to enter upon arrival. Poor punctuality is unacceptable and persistent lateness i.e after the close of registration, will be marked as unauthorised absence. After this time, the children’s entrances will be locked and latecomers will have to enter through the main entrance, via the School Office.

Absence from school

School will follow up unexplained absences by contacting parents/carers on the first day of absence.

Authorised absence

Some absences are unavoidable, usually due to illness, bereavement or difficult family circumstances. These absences should be supported by medical evidence where possible or a written explanation from the parent/carer.

Unauthorised absence

There are times when children are absent for reasons which are NOT permitted by law. These are known as unauthorised absences. These are absences which are not permissible in law e.g birthdays. Shopping trips, days out, Term Time Holidays and absences where no explanation has been received.  The decision as to whether an absence is authorised or not lies with the Headteacher. The School does not authorise holidays taken in term time. Pupils have an entitlement to an education, not a term time holiday.

Holidays taken in Term Time

It is strongly encouraged that all holidays are taken in school holidays and not in term time. The more time a child misses from school, the more difficult it is for them to catch up with their work and valuable learning time is lost. A good understanding of the work set can only take place when the child is in the classroom. If parents/carers still choose to take their children out of school, it is their responsibility for any work missed to be completed at home. This will also be included in the Home School Agreement.