School Attendance

The importance of good attendance and punctuality

At St Cuthbert Mayne School, we believe that:

  • Central to improving outcomes and ensuring all students can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – students need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in secondary school.
  • Punctuality is an important life skill and that lateness is bad manners. Students who arrive late to school or lessons miss out on important school information and lose learning time.

It is the responsibility of all parents to ensure that their child gets a full-time education that meets their needs. It is also the responsibility of parents to ensure that their child arrives on time at school. Parents can be prosecuted if they don’t ensure that their child gets an education.

We recognise the importance of good attendance and punctuality and always look to reward students for this.

Please click here to read our Attendance Policy

When your child can miss school

You can only allow your child to miss school if either:

  • They’re too ill to go in
  • You’ve got advance permission from the school

If your child is too ill to come to school:
Please phone the Attendance Line (01803 317901) to speak to Mrs Guest in the Attendance Office to leave a message.

Leave your name, your child’s name and form and the reason for absence. You will need to phone in for every day your child is off school.

Holidays in term time

You have to get permission from the Head teacher if you want to take your child out of school during term time.

You can only do this if:

  • you make an application to the Head teacher in advance (as a parent the child normally lives with)
  • there are exceptional circumstances

At St Cuthbert Mayne School, we will only authorise absence during term time if there are exceptional circumstances.

The following are considered as exceptional circumstances:

  • Illness
  • Exceptional family circumstances such as a bereavement
  • Days of religious observance
  • Unavoidable medical/dental appointments

The following are not considered as exceptional circumstances and will not be authorised:

  • Holidays not agreed
  • Birthdays
  • Shopping
  • Looking after family members
  • Visiting relatives

All requests for absence in exceptional circumstances should be made using the form below:

Form to request absence in exceptional circumstances

Following the recent national media exposure to term-time holidays we have been advised by the Local Education Authority to remind you that the current legislation has not changed. Therefore, no request for absence can be authorised unless there are exceptional circumstances.


Please follow the link below for further information following the recent high profile ruling.


You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission.

Help with getting your child to go to school

If you’re having trouble getting your child to go to school, then we can help.

Please contact us if you are concerned about your child’s attendance. Your child’s Tutor, Deputy Year Co-ordinator, Year co-ordinator or Miss Begley, our School Attendance Improvement Officer, will discuss attendance problems with you and can agree a plan with you to improve your child’s attendance.

Legal action to enforce school attendance

St Cuthbert Mayne School works in partnership with Torbay Local Authority to challenge poor attendance. 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 (sometimes known as a ‘penalty notice’)

You can be given one or more of these but the council doesn’t have to do this before prosecuting you.

 Parenting Order

 This means you have to go to parenting classes. You’ll also have to do what the court says to improve your child’s school attendance.

Education Supervision Order

If the council thinks you need support getting your child to go to school but you’re not co-operating, they can apply to a court for an Education Supervision Order.

A supervisor will be appointed to help you get your child into education. The local council can do this instead of prosecuting you, or as well.

School Attendance Order

You’ll get a School Attendance Order if the local council thinks your child isn’t getting an education. You have 15 days to provide evidence that you’ve registered your child with a school or that you’re giving them home education. The order will require you to send your child to a specific school. If you don’t, you could be prosecuted or given a fine.


Your local council can give you a fine of £60, which rises to £120 if you don’t pay within 21 days. If you don’t pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.


You could get a fine of up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence up to 3 months. The court also gives you a Parenting Order.