St Peter's R.C. Primary School

Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy



St. Peter’s Catholic School Mission is that pupils, parents staff, governors and parish build together a learning community which develops love, concern for each other and forgiveness, by living out the Gospel.

This means our school will be a place which:

  • encourages children to live as children
  • welcomes, values and respects the innocence of  childhood and the individual’s strengths and weaknesses
  • encourages each to use his/her gifts and talents for self fulfilment and the good of all
  • fosters knowledge, experience and understanding
  • celebrates that we are each made in the image and likeness of God
  • fosters prayer, trust in God and an understanding of His love through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, encouraging our respect for all His people


The Need For A Full Education

Each child is entitled to a good quality education.   A broad curriculum including the National Curriculum requires as full attendance as possible.

The Purpose Of Our Policy

… is to ensure maximum possible attendance for each child by monitoring carefully, offering support to families where appropriate and using relevant outside agencies.

The Legal Requirements

Every child of compulsory school age must attend school 190 days per year unless there is a very good reason not to.

Unauthorised absences have to be recorded and reported to the DFE and Governors.

Categories Of Absence

AUTHORISED absences are accepted by the school (eg. Illness, religious observance, medical appointment, approved personal circumstances, bereavement – with support from Ed. Soc. Work. etc).

UNAUTHORISED absences are not accepted (eg. Shopping, hair appointment, house or sibling minding, own birthdays etc).

Our School Procedures

The children come into class promptly.   Registration takes place as efficiently as possible.  The registers are sent to the office by 9.30am.

The same symbols are used in every class register.  Registers are completed in ink as it is a legal document.  Parents are asked to phone the school office by 10.00am if their child is unable to attend school giving a reason for absence and then to send a note in when the child returns, however a verbal explanation from a suitable adult is normally acceptable.  If an explanation from parents is not forthcoming a letter is sent by the school office (see below).  If there is no response the absence is unauthorised.

Family holidays – absence has to be requested in advance.   It is for parents to demonstrate that there is no alternative time for the holidays.  For periods of longer than 2 weeks parents should demonstrate that the circumstances necessitate a longer absence.  If a child registers then is taken out (e.g. dentist) s/he is registered as “in school” with a note that s/he is temporarily off site (for emergency evacuation purposes).  Absence for public performances is accepted if there is a local authority licence.  If the level of absence is high the authority’s Attendance Advisory Service will be advised.

Lateness will be actively discouraged.  A late mark will be given and the time noted.  The ‘Late List’ is held in the office for children to sign before they go to class – if the register has been taken/sent to the office the child should be sent there for a late mark to be entered, if they haven’t already done so.

Registers will remain “open” whether in class or the school office from 9.05am to 9.30am.  After that time it will be considered an unauthorised absence but a note will be made eg. “in at 9.55” for emergency evacuation purposes.

The Attendance Advisory Service have the ultimate responsibility for dealing with major attendance problems.  Where necessary referrals will be made.

School health will advise the Headteacher as to the general health of a child and whether regular absence is necessary.  A medical can be requested.

Informing parents – Annually parents are given attendance (auth./unauth, absences and lateness) figures as part of the end of year report (one copy to be kept and one copy to the Headteacher).  An individual detailed statement of attendance/absence is available to parents on request.


Dear Parents

School Absence

Your child has been absent from school recently and I am not aware of having received an explanation to enter in the class register.  Please complete and return the slip below tomorrow (ie the next school day).

Yours sincerely

Mrs M O’Regan


Child’s Name: …………………………………………………………………….

Date(s) of Absence(s): …………………………………………………………..

My child was absent on the above date(s) because (parent to complete)






Signed:…………………………………………………   Date:………………..






Every individual has the right to a good education.   The National Curriculum must be taught to every child.  Parents want their children to benefit as fully as possible from every opportunity offered by the school.  This is only possible if the child attends school regularly, on time, fit and well, alert and ready to learn.

Attendance at School – the law. Once your child is registered at school s/he must attend on each of the 190 pupil days in the year, unless there is a very good reason why s/he can’t.

Authorised and unauthorised absence.   The Department for Education requires the school to decide for each absence whether it is “authorised” or “unauthorised”, to record  it accordingly in the class register (a legal document), and to provide the annual statistics to the Department.

Absences which we would normally designate as “authorised” are (for example) illness of the pupil, a medical/dental appointment (only for the duration of the appointment),exceptional personal circumstances……

Those which would be “unauthorised” are (for example) shopping, a parent ill, a birthday celebration ……

On family holidays in term time – the Department for Education document now states “blanket approval policies are not (now) acceptable”.   It goes on to explain that parents are requested not to arrange holidays for children in term time.   If parents have an exceptional reason they should request well in advance for this child(ren) to be withdrawn from full time education for the period.  It stresses that holidays in term time longer than 2 weeks should be avoided as a large proportion of the National Curriculum  will be missed.  Pupil assessment will show gaps in knowledge and understanding in aspects of the curriculum missed.

Lateness – your child should be on time for school every day.  Each late arrival must be recorded in the register.  Over a week, a month, a term, regular lateness can amount to literally hours of school time missed.

We will inform you regularly of any absences we have on record for your child(ren).

Our procedures are:

Absence – if your child is ill, please phone the school office by 10.00am to let us know on the day, sending in a note in when s/he returns to school.

Lateness – if your child is ever unavoidably late s/he should go to the school office where s/he can sign the ‘Late List’ and then go straight to class.  The late mark will be entered into the register.

N.B. for a younger child the parent should accompany the child when late to ensure 1) the procedure is followed 2) the child arrives safely in class.

The Attendance Advisory Service is ultimately responsible for regular/serious attendance problems (poor attendance, patterns of irregular attendance, regular lateness)  Serious instances have to be referred to this Service for investigation.

The School Health Service – will give advice to the Headteacher as to the general health of a child and whether it is necessary for him/her to have above average absence.  A medical may be requested, you would of course be invited.

My staff and I look forward to your co-operation in attendance matters so that in  partnership with you we can ensure a full and fruitful education for your child(ren).