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St Swithun Wells'Catholic Primary School

‘where the love of God is always present’


Attendance Procedures

Registration and Monitoring Attendance

All registers are marked at the beginning of the morning and afternoon session in school. This should be the first task teachers do in the morning and afternoon.

If a child is late and misses registration, a late mark will be recorded. Obviously the school will be sympathetic if this is for a good reason. A pupil who arrives late, after the children have entered into their classrooms, must come to the office with their parents and the parents must sign a late register stating the time they arrived and the reason the child is late.


The attendance register will close at twenty past nine in the morning and one twenty in the afternoon. If a child arrives after this time it is deemed as unauthorised late unless there are exceptional circumstances and these circumstances need to be agreed by the Head teacher.


If a pattern of lateness starts to emerge, parents will be invited to discuss the matter with the Head teacher.


Collection at the End of the School Day

If a parent is going to be late they should phone the school and inform them of when they will be arriving and why they are late. When a parent is late collecting their child the child will wait in the school welfare office or go to Afterschool club to be supervised.


In the unlikely event that at the end of the school day a child has not been collected and their usual contact numbers for emergency contacts are not current, the school may have to involve Social Services and the attached protocol will be followed.


Reporting Absence

If a child is ill and unable to attend school the parent should ring and inform the school and this should then be followed up in writing by email or letter. If the school has not been contacted concerning a child’s absence the school will contact the parents by telephone after half past nine.The school has a letter that will be sent out to those families that do not provide information as to why the child is absent.


If the parents do not inform the school about their child’s absence, the absence will be marked as unauthorised.


  1. Illness, Medical and Dental Appointments - If the school is satisfied that a pupil of compulsory school age is prevented from attending school by reason of illness then the absence will be treated as authorised. Leave for medical or dental appointments may be given (i.e. the absence may be authorised) where confirmation has been received from the parents or on production of an appointments card. The school would ask parents to try and make dental appointments outside school hours.
  2. Exceptional Leave – Any request for exceptional leave must be made by completing an Exceptional Leave request form that may be obtained from the school office. The request should be made prior to the absence and as much notice as possible given. The Headteacher may not grant any leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances. There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday.


The Education Welfare service can issue Penalty Notices for any unauthorised absence. Penalty Notices can be issued to each parent/carer concerned and for each child’s absences. This penalty will incur a fee of £60 to be paid within 21 days or £120 within 28 days and this regulation is set by the Local Authority.

If unauthorised leave is repeated the Education Welfare Service may summons each parent/carer to court.


Family Bereavements - The death of a family member can be a particularly traumatic event in any young person's life. Schools have discretion to authorise absence to attend funerals or associated events and any request would be dealt with sympathetically.


Persistent Absenteeism

A pupil becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 15% or more schooling across the school year for whatever reason. Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child’s educational prospects and we need parent’s fullest support and cooperation to tackle this. PA pupils will be tracked and monitored carefully through our pastoral system and would be subject to an individual action plan.


Procedures for Monitoring Persistent Absenteeism and/ or Punctuality Concerns:

  1. Letter sent from the Headteacher informing parent of the child’s % rate with a request to meet to discuss strategies to support
  2. School monitoring of attendance following the meeting
  3. If there continues to be persistent absences or punctuality concerns, a follow up letter will be provided outlining the need for rapid improvement
  4. If improvements are not made, the school will refer this to the LA Participation Team and formal procedures will be actioned