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Attendance, Absence and Lateness

The School Day

St Mark’s school hours are as follows.

EYFS  08:55 – 15:05

Morning Break: 10:30 – 10:45  Afternoon Break: 2 – 2:15     Lunchtime Break: 11:45 – 12:45

Yr1 and Yr2  08:55 – 15:05

Morning Break: 10:30 – 10:45  Afternoon Break: 2 – 2:15     Lunchtime Break: 12:00 – 13:00

Juniors (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6): 08.55 – 15:15

Morning Break: 10:30 – 10:45           Lunchtime Break: 12:00 – 13:00

Please ensure that children arrive at school punctually. Children may go into their classrooms from 8:45 am so that they are settled and ready to start their learning journey at 8:55 am.

At the end of the day please be on time and wait in the relevant part of the school’s playground to collect your child.  Children will only be released by staff into the care of their parents/carers. If you require your child to be picked up by anybody else (childminders, grandparents, play dates etc) please let the school know. We will not be able to let the children go home without authorisation from you.

Children leaving the school site by themselves

All parents must sign a letter annually stating that their child can leave the school site by themselves. We only allow children in year 6 and year 5 to do so.

Year 6, with a permission form may leave the school site by themselves from the beginning of term 1.  Please see form here: St Mark's Church of England Primary School - Forms (

Year 5, with a permission form may leave the school site by themselves from the beginning of term 5 (after the Easter break). Please see form here: St Mark's Church of England Primary School - Forms (


School closure due to extreme weather

Here’s hoping we will have a mild winter but if not and the school is forced to close as a result of bad weather please listen to the following radio stations KMFM 96.2/101.6 FM, BBC Radio Kent 96.7/104.2 FM and Heart FM 103.1/102.8FM. We will publish closures on the website. The school phone will also be manned, during the morning from 8:30 am on all days.

If the school has to close in the course of a school day we will send a parentmail out to inform you. Please ensure that if you change your contact details at any point you inform the school.

If the site has to be evacuated in extreme circumstances all children will be sheltered at Broadwater School and will have to be collected from there.

Absence due to illness

If your child is ill and will be absent from school please phone the school office on the first day of absence before 9.00 am. You may be asked to provide a written note of explanation or a doctor’s certificate, to be given to the class teacher on their return. Absences may also be emailed to

Should your child be absent due to sickness and/or diarrhoea there must be 48 hours since the last episode before your child can return to school.

Infectious diseases

If you think the disease is contagious or infectious please notify the school immediately. This will enable us to notify the relevant government bodies if necessary. Depending on the illness we may ask you to provide a doctor’s note stating that your child is no longer contagious before they can return to school.

Medicines in School

Sometimes it is unavoidable that pupils have to take medicines during school hours. This can be a long-term arrangement, for example in the case of asthma inhalers, or a short term necessity, for example in the case of antibiotics for short-term infections.

Our school office is happy to help administer these medicines providing the following information and authorisation has been received from the guardian/parent:

  • written authorisation by the parent that the medication can be administered by the school office – forms are available from the school office.
  • written instruction as to the exact administration procedure and dosage
  • medicines are provided in their original container, clearly labelled with the child’s name and dosage instructions
  • medicines need to be delivered to the school office by the parent, not the pupil
  • we will not give antibiotics if they need to be taken 3 times a day as these can be administered, before school, immediately after school and at bedtime.

Leave of Absence in term time

Absences from school for reasons other than illness should be rare and avoided.

Requests for leave of absence will not be authorised unless for exceptional circumstances.

For obvious reasons leave of absence in term time should be avoided at all costs.

Time away during the teaching term represents a considerable loss of valuable time for teaching and learning. Where a leave of absence in term time is unavoidable prior permission must be sought from the headteacher by completing a leave of absence request form, obtainable from the office well before any dates are arranged. The school reserves the right to refuse leave of absence requests in individual cases. Please ensure that all notifications of absence are worded formally as requests.

We support the issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices for unauthorised leave of absence taken during term time. This would mean a fine of £120.00 per child per parent. If it is paid within 28 days the amount will be reduced to £60.

For further information, please refer to the Attendance Policy – in School Policies