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Attendance Policy

St. John’s CE Primary School is committed to providing a full and efficient education to all pupils and embraces the concept of equal opportunities for all.


We will endeavour to provide an environment where all pupils feel valued and welcome.


For a child to reach their full educational achievement a high level of school attendance is essential. We will consistently work towards a minimum of 95% attendance for all children. Every opportunity will be used to convey to pupils and their parents or carers the importance of regular and punctual attendance.

The school will at all times endeavour to support parents/carers in overcoming any barriers to achieving regular school attendance.


School attendance is subject to various education laws and this school attendance policy is written to reflect these laws and the guidance produced by the Department for Children, Schools & Families


The Law


The Education Act 1996 Part 1 Section 7 states:


The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable-

  1. To his age, ability and aptitude and
  2. To any special needs he may have

Either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.


For educational purposes the term parent is used to include those that have parental responsibility and/or those that have the day to day care of the child.


The legislation that appertains to children who are of compulsory school age and are registered at school is contained within the Act.


Part V1 Section 444 contains the details of when an offence is committed if a child fails to attend school.


Register and Admission Roll keeping.


The legal requirements are found in:

The education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006



Each year the school will set an attendance target and will monitor attendance figures at the end of each half term to track progress, monitor the effectiveness of interventions and review systems


This attendance policy will contain the procedures that the school will use to meet its attendance targets and support all pupils to overcome barriers to regular school attendance.



School Procedures


Any child who is absent from school at the morning or afternoon registration period must have their absence recorded as being authorised, unauthorised or as an approved educational activity [attendance out of school]. Only the head teacher or a member of staff acting on their behalf can authorise absence. If there is no known reason for the absence at registration, then the absence must be recorded in the first instance as unauthorised.


Promoting attendance


At St. John’s we promote attendance in the following ways:

Pupil voice – consultation with the school council

Acknowledging achievement

Individual pupil targets

Year targets

Celebrations in assembly


Posters around school

Letters to parents




Morning registration will take place at the start of school at 8:55 a.m. The registers will remain open for 30 minutes. Any pupil arriving after this time will be marked as having an unauthorised absence unless there is an acceptable explanation i.e. school transport was delayed. In cases for example, where the absence at registration was for attending an early morning medical appointment, the appropriate authorised absence code will be entered.


Pupils arriving after the start of school but before the end of the registration period will be treated for statistical purposes, as present, but will be coded as late before registers close.


First Day Absence


If a child is absent from school, for whatever reason, it is the responsibility of the parent /carer to inform the school by 9:30 a.m. on the first day of absence by telephoning 0161 921 2130. On your child’s return to school, he/she should bring a note to confirm the reason for the absence.


If a parent/carer does not contact school with a reason, the school will contact the parent/carer to establish reason for absence either by making a telephone call (or send a text message to the contact number school have on file). This will continue until the parent/carer contacts school and provides a reason for their child’s absence. If the school is not satisfied with the reason provided for the pupil’s absence, or if no reason is provided, it will be recorded in the register as an unauthorised absence. Parents cannot authorise a child’s absence from school; it is the school’s decision to authorise/unauthorise absences. If no contact is made, a decision will be made by a senior member of staff as to whether a school welfare check will take place. A text message will be sent prior to this to inform parents and give them another chance to contact school. If access cannot be gained a police welfare check may be requested.


Managing Absence


It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to be aware of and bring attention to, any emerging attendance concerns.

This enables the school to work in partnership with the parent/carer by identifying what the issues are and devising a joint action plan to implement interventions that can improve the situation.

Through reviewing the plan on a regular basis and through listening to the views of all parties it is anticipated that there would be improvements and good working relationships established based on honesty and trust.

If this is unsuccessful the school may refer to the School Health Adviser/School Nurse etc, if the problem appears to be a medical one. In other cases the school will seek advice from the school’s named EWO.


All absences will be tracked and monitored by the school.


  • A letter will be sent home requesting the parents/carers of that child to contact the school as a matter of urgency.
  • Try to gain the views of the child as to the reasons for absences when it is a cause of concern
  • If the reason for absence is school based school staff will work with the young person to resolve the issue. Working within the guidelines of other policies E.G anti-bullying policy.
  • If no response is received from the parents/carers and absence remains a point of concern, the parents/carers will be invited into school by the Headteacher.
  • The purpose of the meeting will be to establish the reasons for absence and support mechanisms agreed to overcome the barriers preventing regular school attendance
  • In some cases a visit may be made to the family home by a member of school staff.


The Governors will:


  • Monitor attendance termly and review all strategies being used.


Head Teacher will:


  • Write and update the school policy for attendance
  • Liaise with the Education Welfare Service to provide the best possible service for the school.
  • Be available to support, guide and advise staff in relation to attendance matters
  • Organise Attendance Plans as and when appropriate
  • Co-ordinate multi agency meetings each half term to discuss early intervention strategies for the most vulnerable pupils
  • Write, lead and update the action plan to improve attendance
  • Ensure that stakeholders are aware of their role in ensuring good attendance
  • Present information to the Governors as and when required
  • Monitor overall attendance and punctuality
  • Monitor Persistent Absence (PA) data
  • Organise and lead Attendance Panels




Learning Mentor and Office Manager will:


  • Have an overview of attendance for each year group Compile data and attend half termly multi agency meetings in relation to the most vulnerable pupils
  • Co-ordinate support strategies for pupils returning to school after periods of absence
  • Analyse pupil under performance, put action plans in place and measure the impact of them
  • Implement intervention strategies for missed work
  • Organise rewards in assemblies
  • Analyse data on pupils with persistent absence each half term
  • Challenge absence codes when necessary
  • Set year class targets for attendance
  • Compare attendance figures to previous years


All teaching staff will:


  • Register their forms in the morning
  • Collect absence notes and discuss issues affecting attendance
  • Monitor pupils attendance and discuss reasons for absence with pupils
  • Alert Headteacher or Office Manager about occasions of unauthorised absence and any concerns re: attendance/registers
  • Promote good attendance by providing meaningful and challenging learning experiences
  • Keep accurate attendance records for each teaching group
  • Provide appropriate work to support re-integration following a period of absence



If there is no improvement in levels of attendance the Attendance Lead will inform the Education Welfare Officer through completing the referral from on the secure upload which will indicate the perceived needs of the child and the actions taken by school to improve the situation.


Persistent Absence


Pupils are categorised as being a ‘Persistent Absence’ pupil if they accumulate 15% or more absences


For children whose attendance falls into the ‘persistent absence’ category, parents/carers will be contacted by the Headteacher and/or they will be invited to school. During this meeting

  • an action plan will be compiled with input from the parent/carer, school and pupil.
  • Targets will be agreed and reviewed until that child is no longer in the persistent absence category.
  • There would be a focus on links between attendance and attainment.
  • A parenting contract will be offered if it is deemed appropriate
  • If appropriate the targets will include fast track to prosecution which will involve the Education Welfare officer


If the parent fails to attend the meeting or there is no significant improvement in attendance the issues will be brought to the attention Education Welfare Officer by the completion of the referral form as outlined above.


Holidays in term time


St. John’s CE Primary School, in line with the Local Authority, will normally not authorise holidays taken in term time because of the detrimental effect this absence would have upon the child’s learning.


See school’s policy on Holidays in term time.


Legal Sanctions


St. John’s CE Primary School will consider applying for penalty notice warnings in the following circumstances:


  • Unauthorised absence of ten sessions or more (There are two sessions in a day)


  • Unauthorised holidays in term time


  • Persistent late arrival (after the register has closed and an unauthorised absence is created).


The Local Authority can instigate prosecution under the Education Act 1996 section 441 or 441(a) when;-

  • Parent/Carers persistently fail to respond to any correspondence in relation to their child’s absence


  • Evidence indicates that support has been offered but parents/carers have failed to engage


  • Targets have been agreed with the parent/carers through the Fast track procedure but improvements have not been made


  • There is sufficient evidence that parent/carers have failed in their responsibility to ensure that their child receives appropriate full time education.


Disposal for prosecutions for non school attendance can range from a fine to a custodial sentence.


Reintegration to school


It is important that on return from an absence that all pupils are made to feel welcome. This should include ensuring that the pupil is helped to catch up on missed work and brought up to date on any information that has been passed to the other pupils.


  • Smaller groups before return to full class
  • Additional support to enable young person to catch up on work
  • Buddy system where appropriate
  • Peer mentoring
  • Review of progress
  • Listen to the young person