How to Write an Excuse Letter for School Absence [Templates]

How to Write an Excuse Letter for School Absence [Templates]

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One thing that most of us tend to forget is that students are humans. Just like everyone else, students get sick, they have priorities to attend to, and sometimes, they are not in the mood to go to school. 

That’s acceptable — occasionally. 

However, you have to be ready for the consequences. To at least mitigate these consequences, even be excused and void them entirely, you have to procure a letter of absence. 

What Is a School Letter of Absence?

A letter of absence is an excuse letter sent to notify the teacher that you will be unable to attend school. It should provide the administration with a verifiable reason why you are not able to attend school. 

A letter of absence allows you to:

  • Apologize for your nonappearance and share with the school the reason behind it. 
  • Ask your professors for any means to catch up — whether take a special project or exam (if you missed it because of your absence).

Granted that the latter isn’t a guarantee that your professors will consider your request, it still shows character, which many of them highly appreciate.

Why learn how to write an excuse letter for school absences?

Learning how to write an excuse letter professionally increases the odds of not only getting your request to catch up granted but, more importantly, being excused.  A well-written absence note has the potential to save you from failing a semester or an entire school year. 

That is why you need to write it in a way that sends your message with an impact. 

Templates of Excuse Letters for School Absence

In this section, I show you how to write a formal excuse letter specifically for school absences. Please see the template for each situation and my suggestions for its content. 

Template 1: Excuse Letter for School Due to Sickness

This school excuse letter can be sent whenever you have a medical certificate that testifies that you will not be able to attend school. In this letter, it is important to include crucial elements such as: what is the cause of your sickness, how long you will be unable to attend, and whether it is possible to catch up with homework from home.

Dear Mr. Erving,

Please accept this letter as written notification that I was unable to attend school on Nov. 19, due to sickness. I have attached a report of my treatment at ABC Hospital.

I will not be able to return to school until Nov. 19. Kindly feel free to send me homework and lecture notes to my email.

I hope for your kind consideration. 


John Doe

An alternative letter for missing school due to sickness could be:

Dear Mr. Erving,

Please accept this letter as documentation of my absence from Nov. 19-20, 2020, due to sickness. I have included my doctor’s note detailing his recommendation for hospital treatment due to stomach ache as a complication from the flu. I have also enclosed the hospital discharge instructions.


John Doe

Template 2: Family Emergency

This school excuse note is a perfect apology letter when a family member requires medical attention.

Dear Mr. Erving,

I write this letter in order to inform you that I was absent on Nov. 12 as I had to take care of a family member’s illness. I had to drive my sister to the hospital due to severe headache, unfortunately both my parents were out of town for work.

I apologize for this uninformed leave. I will be able to return to school tomorrow.


John Doe

Template 3: Sick and Requires a Make-up Exam

This is for students who miss school and need a make-up exam. In such a case, they should try to schedule a date for another exam.

Dear Mr. Erving,

I apologize for my unexpected absence on Nov. 20,, due to illness. I had a high fever accompanied by a headache, and I did not want to infect others in the class. Please see the attached report of my treatment at ABC Hospital and a doctor’s note about my condition. 

I have missed an imperative Math exam due to my absence. If possible, may I take a make-up exam on Nov. 25 during the next class?

I hope you consider my humble request.


John Doe

Template 4: Was Unable to Wake Up

This is a formal letter to inform your teacher that you were unable to wake. It is important to include a valid reason for such absence.

Dear Mr. Erving,

I apologize for my unexpected absence this morning. Yesterday evening, I had problems sleeping due to crippling depression and anxiety. Due to this problm, I was unable to wake up and attend your class.

I apologize for this uninformed leave. I will be able to return to school this afternoon.


John Doe

Template 5: Sick And Will Be Absent

This excuse letter is to notify the teacher about a future school absence.

Dear Mr. Erving,

I am sick with the flu and will not attend school Today, Nov. 23, and possibly the following days so that I can recover with complete bed rest. If possible, I would like my professors to send me an email of the assignments I have to work on to catch up with the class. 

Please consider my humble request. Thank you.


John Doe

What Makes a Good Excuse Letter for School Absence

Most schools take absence seriously as it is an action that can affect your grades. The more absence you make, the more likely you are to get penalized and possibly even fail a few of your subjects. This is why it is important to write an excuse letter with verifiable excuses.

When writing an excuse note, your writing should be as polite, formal, and straightforward as possible.

Write with the intent to inform concisely. 

You do not need to write a story as to how or why everything happened. Provide the details briefly and honestly. 

If you can supplement your letter with any proof, attach it to your letter. 

Always remember to humble yourself and put the recipient as the person in authority. 

Request for consideration; do not demand it.

Apologize, be thankful, and always remember to say please wherever needed. However, remember to not overdo it.

Formatting Tips for Excuse Letters

Don’t forget to format your school excuse letter, or email correctly: make sure you include your full address, complete name, and current date.

Make sure you include the following information at the back of your letter.

John Doe

123 Steep Ave.

Crystal City, NY 55221


– – – – – – – – – –

Nov. 23, 2020

Erving Smith

School Principal

321 Shallow Rd.

Crystal City, NY 55221