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& School Holidays

Regular and punctual school attendance is important. Pupils need to attend school regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them by law. Schools within the Stanley Learning Partnership (SLP) fully recognise their responsibilities to ensure pupils are in school and on time, therefore having access to learning for the maximum number of days and hours.



The National Average for attendance is 96.1%.  Here at South Stanley Infant & Nursery School we strive to exceed this and endeavour to help and support our families so that together we can achieve this.

Mrs Thompson (Headteacher) and Mr Howard (Attendance Officer) are here to help you and can be contacted by calling our Main Office on (01207) 232445 should you have any concerns with regards to your child’s attendance.

We understand wholeheartedly that children genuinely become unwell and this should never be a concern.  If this is this is the case, then parents are encouraged to contact Mrs Thompson or Mr Howard to share them and identify a way to work together to eradicate them.

Please click on this link for a copy of our Parent Attendance Support Booklet

The Law

It is a criminal offence to keep your child from attending school unless they have a genuine illness,  or you have had advanced permission from the Head Teacher. Local councils and schools can use various legal powers if your child is missing school without a good reason. They can give you;

  • a Parenting Order

  • an Education Supervision Order

  • a School Attendance Order

  • a fine (a Fixed Penalty Notice up to a maximum of £2,500)

  • a jail sentence of up to 3 months



If your child arrives at school after the register is taken at 9:00am this will be recorded as late. Those parents whose children have are persistently late may be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice which applies to both parents. As a school, we will inform you at the earliest opportunity when your child’s attendance or punctuality becomes a concern.

If Your Child is Absent You Must:

Contact school by telephone on the first morning of absence before 9:15am.

  • Contact school each day (before 9:15am) your child is absent, unless you have provided a doctor’s sick note which specifies the length of a period of absence.

  • Be aware that, as part of our safeguarding procedure, we routinely send one of our Attendance Officers to conduct a welfare check if notification of absence has not been received by the above time.

The school’s social media platforms, or email, must not be used to report absence as these are  often run by a member of staff who is not on the school premises at the beginning of the school day.

Failure to report your child’s absence will result in them being unauthorised. 

Unauthorised absences can be recorded on the register when there is no valid reason given for absences or there is a leave of absence which has not approved by the school.

Our Procedure

If your child is not at school, and we have not received a phone call from you or another named   contact by 9:15am, one of our Attendance Officers, admin staff or pastoral staff will contact the  adults identified on our system.

A member of staff will then visit your home address, or any known addresses associated with the family, to establish the reason for absence. If this is unsuccessful the absence will be referred to the Police or First Contact as a matter of safeguarding.

Please update your child’s school if you change your contact details or address. It is also helpful if school could be updated of any changes in details for any other relatives who often drop off or pick up your child. 

Medical Appointments

Any appointment should be made out of school time. If this is not possible, your child should miss the minimum amount of school time necessary. Those appointments made during school time must be evidenced by documents which confirm an appointment. If your child is well enough to come back to school following the appointment they should do so.

If your child has an ongoing health problem and is unable to attend school regularly through no fault of their own, then we will work with you to ensure that your child receives the support necessary.

Medical Evidence

If your child is regularly absent due to illness, then we should receive medical evidence. This can be in the form of copies of G.P appointment cards or letters, medication details or other relevant information. Failure to do so may result in further action being taken.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

During Term Time

Head Teachers will only grant a LOA if they believe that exceptional circumstances exist. Any application must be made to the Head Teacher 10 days in advance of the start date requested, where possible, using a form obtainable from the school office. Where parents have children in different schools across the SLP our attendance staff will liaise with each other so that the decision is consistent and fair. HOLIDAYS ARE NOT CONDIDERED TO BE EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

It is up to the Head Teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted. You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission. This fine applies to both adults with parental responsibility for your child. If a request for LOA is declined, you will be notified in writing of the decision and your right of appeal. If your child/children are absent during the time requested, it will be classed as an unauthorised absence and you may be subject to a fine.

Persistent Absence

If your child’s attendance falls to 90% or below, this is considered by the Government to be persistent absence. Where attendance falls below 90% and there are unauthorised absences, this may result in a referral to the Local Authority for enforcement action. To help avoid this, we monitor all pupils’ attendance and punctuality regularly and will inform you of any concerns.


Please visit the Durham County Council website to view or download the school holidays dates for this academic year and next year for all community schools, special schools and voluntary controlled schools.


Please note that voluntary aided (church) schools, foundation schools and academies may have set different dates and you should check with the school or academy to confirm their arrangements or view the PDF for schools not following the standard term and holiday dates.

Durham County Council School Holidays

School Holidays

During Term Time

The Government has amended regulations for taking holidays in term time and these new regulations came into effect from September 2013.

Head teachers have the discretion to grant leave, but they should only do so in exceptional circumstances. If a head teacher grants a leave request, it will be for them to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. This leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday. Parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school.

Please visit our policies page for more information or contact the school if you wish to discuss this with the Headteacher.

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School Holidays and Training Days

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