Return to Parents’ Information


The law requires that children of compulsory school age receive a suitable full-time education.

Parents have a legal duty to make sure that their child attends school regularly.  The Department for Education considers that unnecessary absence from school is unacceptable and must be prevented and tackled by schools: promoting regular school attendance is a key component in the Government’s strategy to raise educational standards.

The governors and staff of Merry Hill Infant School believe that if children attend school regularly and punctually they will be best able to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them and establish a commitment to work which will be carried forward throughout their education career and into adulthood.

Why are Attendance and Punctuality so important?

Schools have a responsibility to ensure that pupils attend regularly and punctually. We monitor attendance closely and the Headteacher will write to any parents where attendance causes concern.

If attendance is 90% or less, this will have a detrimental effect on a child’s progress.

90% attendance for a child is equivalent to:

  • Missing one morning every week
  • Missing 4 weeks in a school year

10 minutes late every day is over a term missed in your child’s school career. A few minutes missed means your child loses out!

Excellent attendance is celebrated through the fortnightly attendance award in Merry Hill Matters and through the award of Herts County Council certificates for 100% attendance at the end of the school year.

Absence protocols


The taking of family holidays during term time is strongly discouraged.  Authorisation for leave of absence will only be granted if there are exceptional extenuating circumstances.  If you wish to take your children out of school for any reason, please notify us using the Absence Form available below or from the school office.  We will reply to let you know whether the absence is authorised or not.

Absence due to Illness

Parents are asked to telephone/email before 9am on the first day of absence due to illness, to explain why their child is not in school. In the absence of any communication from parents, the school office staff will attempt to make contact to ensure the child is safe. For absences of three days or less, parents are not expected to telephone other than on the first day of absence.

The school follows the Public Health Agency guidelines regarding the recommended times that children should be kept away from school following an infection. In particular, please note that children should not return to school for a period of 48 hours from the last bout of sickness or diarrhoea.

Medical appointments

For medical appointments, a note should be handed to the class teacher and it is sufficient to give this in on the morning of the appointment.  However, it should be noted that it is expected that routine dental appointments and non-urgent medical appointments will normally be made outside school hours.  Unless the appointment is unavoidable, it will be marked as unauthorised in the class register.

Supporting children in school with medical conditions

Please see the school’s policy on supporting children with medical conditions.

If medicine is required to be administered during the school day, a care plan will be written for the individual child.

Where children need to complete a short course of medicine, e.g. antibiotics, after they are well enough to return to school, it is preferable that parents come into school at the appropriate time to administer the dose. However, where that is not possible, parents can request that a member of school staff administer the medication. It should be noted that we will not administer pain killers under any circumstances. Please complete the appropriate form (see link below) and bring to the school office with the medication (in its original container with prescription label).

Throat sweets can be looked after in the classroom (no more than sufficient for one day) and can be taken with the teacher’s permission.