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, we get sick, we have priorities to attend to, and sometimes, we’re 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 letter of absence?

A letter of absence is to validate a previous nonappearance. In school, whether primary or college, it is to provide the administration a verifiable reason why you weren’t able to attend. 

Most schools take absence seriously as it is an action that can affect your grades. 

The more absence you make, the likelier it is for you to get lower scores and possibly even fail a few of your subjects. 

A letter of absence allows you to:

  • Apologize for your nonappearance and share with them 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 absence?

Learning how to write an excuse letter professionally increases the odds of not only getting your request to catch up granted but, more importantly, be 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

I’m going to teach you how to write a formal excuse letter specifically for school absence. Please see the template below and my suggestions for its content. 

Template 1: generic excuse letter (sick)

Dear Mr. Erving:

Please accept this letter as written notification that I was unable to attend school on Nov. 19, 2020, due to sickness. I have attached a report of my treatment at ABC Hospital. I hope for your kind consideration. 


John Doe

Template 1 (bis) : general excuse letter alternative

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 complications from the flu. I have also enclosed the hospital discharge instructions. Thank you.


John Doe

Template 2: sick and requires make-up exam

Dear Mr. Erving:

I apologize for my unexpected absence on Nov. 20, 2020, 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. 

I have missed an imperative Math exam due to my absence. If possible, may I take a special exam to make up for my absence?

I hope you consider my humble request. Thank you.


John Doe

Template 3: sick and will be adsent

Dear Mr. Erving:

I am sick with the flu and will not be attending school Today, Nov. 23, 2020 and possibly the following days so that I can rest and recover. 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

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 tip

Don’t forget to format your letter correctly.

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