In keeping with our school ethos; Valley Gardens Middle School constantly strives to promote positive attendance, and punctuality from our students. Excellent attendance is central to raising standards, whilst absence leaves students vulnerable to falling behind. As a school we are keen to support both families and students in reaching their full potential at school and we believe high attendance is a contributing factor to this.

Bouts of absence can be unavoidable however, so please see the information below on what to do if you need to report an absence or make a request to take your child out of school for an appointment

NB: Our office staff will contact parent/carers where the reasons for absence are not known once the morning register is complete, so we would kindly ask that you notify us as early as possible.


Reporting an absence – if your child is absent from school due to illness, please leave a message on the absence line as early as possible in the morning by ringing 0191 917 6667 and choosing option 1.

Please let us know:

  • Your child’s name and form-class
  • A summary of the illness, including a brief description of the symptoms. (Please note we cannot accept, ‘unwell’ or ‘ill’ as a reason for absence)

Following this initial contact, please ring the school on a daily basis to indicate if your child will require further days off as a result of their illness.

For some illnesses, for instance asymptomatic cases of COVID 19  it may be possible to provide remote learning work – please let the school office know if you would like to access this.

If your child needs to be excused from school for a medical appointment, a student pass is required from the school office (with a letter of explanation).

If you would like to take your child out of school for a holiday or occasional absence please obtain a form from the school office (with a letter of explanation) or download one of the forms below.

Please be aware that the school will rarely authorise absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances that are unavoidable.

Request for authorisation / occasional absence for children

Medicines in school – It is now no longer possible for the school to either be in possession of, or to administer un-prescribed medication e.g. calpol or other forms of pain relief. We are able to accept inhalers, epi-pens and medication in relation to a specific condition. Please note, any medication sent into school must be clearly labelled with the child’s name and dosage details in the original container provided by the pharmacist under medical instruction. Such medication must remain in the school office. Antibiotics that require 3 equal doses should not be sent into school. Please complete any of the appropriate forms below and return with medication to the school office.