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Regular attendance at school is essential to promote the education of all pupils. The staff at St James’ CofE Primary seek to inspire every child with a passion for learning which will demonstrate to them that their presence in school is important and that they are missed when they are absent or late. School will take appropriate action when necessary in order to promote the aims of this policy

What is expected of parents: 

To keep their child’s absence to a minimum
To offer a reason for any period of absence, preferably before the absence or on the first day of absence
To ensure that their child arrives on time, properly dressed, with the right equipment and in a condition to learn     
A reason should be offered for any lateness
To work closely with the school and the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) to resolve any issues that may impede a child’s attendance
To be aware of curriculum requirements and be especially vigilant with regards to attendance during important times such as Assessment weeks and SAT’s tests
To support their child and recognise successes and achievements
To keep school updated should contact numbers or address details change.
Parents and carers are asked to contact the school office on the first morning by phone or in person if their child is absent from school.

Authorised Absences

Authorised absences include: Sickness, hospital appointments, dental appointments, religious holidays. Where possible medical and dental appointments should be arranged during holidays or outside the school day. Where this is not possible it is expected that pupils only miss part of the day and that an appointment card or letter is brought into the school office as evidence

Unauthorised Absences

Unauthorised absences include: holidays in term time, shopping, visiting relatives, buying shoes, going for a haircut, parent/s unwell. School supports the view that every day in school makes a difference and discourages parents from taking holidays in term time.

Term Time Holidays
There is no automatic entitlement in law to term time holiday. Any holidays taken in term time will be marked as unauthorised absence.

Response to Absence
If any child has not been registered or the school has not been notified about a child’s absence, the office will contact parents by trying home land line first, sending text to contacts. The administration staff will continue to check each morning with the parents on each subsequent day that the child is absent. At each stage of this process, parents are invited in to speak to the headteacher if they have specific concerns or issues.

School starts at 8.50am. Lateness is classed as any child arriving after 9.00am. when registers close. All children arriving after 9.00am must report to the school office and parent must sign child/children in electronically. Up until 9:00, children can be dropped off at the class doors.

Arriving after the registers close will result in your child receiving an unauthorised absence mark for that session. Persistent levels of unauthorised absence due to lateness may result in a penalty notice being issued.

Persistent Absentees

A child who has an attendance figure of 90% or below is classed as a persistent absentee. A child who has an attendance percentage between 80% and 90% will be closely monitored and a targetted action plan will be put into place with parents.

Weekly Monitoring and communication with parents

Percentage attendance figures and number of lates in each class for the current week are announced in assembly each Friday morning.

Letters are sent to parents whose children have had 5 or more lates.

 Letters are sent to parents whose children have been absent and not provided school with a reason.

Classes with the highest attendance receive an Attendance Award.


School Admin and the headteacher meet to monitor individual attendance of referred pupils and address any concerns. This may result in school requesting a meeting with parents to discuss the concerns found.


A letter is sent to parents of children who have had 8 lates in the current month.


100% attendance certificates presented to the children in the final assembly of the term.


100% attendance certificates presented to the children in the final assembly and all names entered into a prize draw.