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At Dalmain we recognise the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in children’s attainment, progress and enjoyment of school.

All parents have a legal responsibility to make sure that their child attends school every day and should ensure that their child/children is only absent if they are too ill to come to school or have a medical appointment.



The school day begins at 8:45am for all pupils and it is vital that children do not miss this part of the day. If your child arrives after 9.00am they will be marked as late.


Reporting Illness

The NHS gives advice about common ailments and when to keep your child off school.  

We ask parents to contact us via email at or ParentMail on the first day of a child’s absence from school. Please include the reason for the absence. For every day of your child's illness, you must report this to the School Office. This is very important as we will try and contact parents if their child is away from school and no reason has been given.


Leave of Absence in Term Time

By law and in line with Lewisham Local Authority’s policy, parents and carers of children registered at school are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school regularly. If they fail to do this, they are guilty of an offence and may be given a penalty notice or prosecuted under section 444 of the Education Act 1996.

Children should attend school every day so that they make the most of the education available to them. We understand that there may be occasions when a child is unwell and is not able to come in to school, but this should be kept to a minimum.

Parents and carers must avoid taking their children out of school during term time.

Lewisham Local Authority have instructed that authorisation for absence will not be given for absence during term time. Holidays should be taken during the school breaks and not during term time. However, in exceptional circumstances, permission may be given by the Headteacher. An exceptional circumstance request for absence should be submitted in writing in advance of any absence.

The Law

Amendments to the 2006 Education Act make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

It is clear that parents and carers do not have any right to take a child out of school during term time except in the extenuating circumstances. In most cases the Headteacher will refuse to authorise term time leave, however, each case will be considered if it falls into the category of exceptional circumstances and they are as follows:

  • Service personnel returning from a tour of duty abroad where it is evidenced the individual will not be in receipt of any leave in the near future that coincides with school holidays.
  • Where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.
  • Certain days for religious observation.
  • To attend a wedding of immediate family i.e. Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister, Nan or Grandad.
  • To attend a funeral of an immediate i.e. Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister, Nan or Grandad.
  • The death or terminal illness of immediate family, family member or close family friend.


The attendance target set by the Governing Body for 2023-24 is 96%. We expect all pupils to try and achieve this target.

Absence request forms are available from the School Office, or click here to print the form.