Sturminster Marshall First School

Grow, Achieve, Inspire, Nurture. SMFS where learning is an adventure.


Our Attendance Summary in line with the latest guidance from Dorset Council (DC).

Attendance Summary

It is essential that children and young people form good habits of regular attendance at school from an early age and that good attendance is maintained throughout their school career. Our local schools work together to improve attendance for all our children across the pyramid and we are committed to working together to ensure that there is a consistent approach to school attendance. It is a legal requirement that all children should attend their education provision and it is the parent/carers responsibility to ensure that their children attend school. The whole school attendance target is 96%.

Our pyramid of schools has agreed the following:

  • It is important that pupils are in school on time. Time keeping is not only important in obtaining maximum benefit from education, it is also a key skill for adult life. Lateness is monitored by the school and contributes to absence rates.
  • We will monitor the attendance of our pupils and work closely with Dorset Council’s School Attendance Service to support children and young people whose attendance levels are causing concern.
  • Whilst we understand that children do become ill on occasions, children who lose a lot of time at school can suffer in the long term from significant gaps in their learning. If a child’s health continues to affect their education, schools are obliged to make a referral to School Health to ensure that appropriate medical advice and support is provided.
  • If a child is ill it is the responsibility of the parents/carer to ensure that they inform the school. Our pyramid of schools all operate a targeted “First Day Call” system, which means we will contact you to ask why your child is not in school and when they are expected to return.
  • No leave of absence will be granted during term time, except in exceptional circumstances.

Therefore, we are informing parents/carers that, should you wish to take your child out of school for any leave of absence, holidays or otherwise, requests will not be routinely granted. It is essential that any requests for leave of absence are made in writing to the Head Teacher.

Any absence which has not been authorised will be recorded as “unauthorised” and this has the potential to impact on your child’s overall absence figure and could result in legal action. Please read the Penalty Notices Guidance for further information.

Please see our Absence Procedures and Forms page for further information on the procedure and forms required for your child’s lateness, illness and absences. Please see our Attendance Policy

This academic year, we will continue to monitor every child’s attendance against the below system:

  • Attendance below 95% - we will write to let you know that we will be monitoring your child’s attendance
  • Attendance below 85% - we will invite you to a meeting to discuss your child’s attendance
  • Attendance below 80% - we will refer to Dorset Council (DC) School Attendance Service

Absence Attendance Letter to Parents and Carers