Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their child received full time education. Parents therefore must ensure that their child attends school regularly and on time.
Evidence shows that children who arrive at school on time, well organised and well equipped, achieve higher academic grades. Irregular attendance may have serious impact on a child’s academic progress and can impact upon pupils’ friendships and self-esteem.
Attendance League Table coming soon!
At St. Patrick’s we know that excellent school attendance is the key to successful schooling and we want to ensure our children have the best educational experience possible.
Attending school every day will help give our children the best possible start in life.
Going to school every day means:
- Learning new skills
- Making friends
- Having lots of fun
- Building new relationships
- Taking part in exciting activities
Regular attendance ensures children have the biggest chance to succeed, develop their confidence and to make and keep lasting friendships.
Children who miss school, or who are late for school, miss lessons. Lessons are not repeated; therefore, children will have gaps in their learning. Additionally, each day’s lessons often build upon those of previous the previous day – if a child misses a lesson they can miss the foundation to subsequent lessons.
Good attendance, which is over 185 days, offers a child the best chance to success and gets them off to a flying start.
Punctuality is crucial! Lateness into school causes disruption not only to your child’s learning but to others in the class. The best learning time is at the start of the school day – that’s why every minute counts. If a pupil is late by 10 minutes each day, they are missing out on almost 2 weeks of learning each year.
Illness and Absence
We do understand that there may be times, when a child is ill and the best place to be is at home with an adult. A sick child may be unhappy at school and unable to cope with schoolwork. If the illness is infectious, other children and teachers may also become ill, so the child must be kept at home.
If your child is unable to attend due to ill health, parents must notify the school on the first day by 9.00am or as soon as practically possible. Unacceptable reasons for being absent are for example, uniform not being ready or clean, headlice, looking after family members, transport issues, home appointments and other reasons deemed to be unacceptable by the school.
Persistently Absent Pupils
Where a pupil’s attendance falls below 90% they are considered as Persistently Absent. If your child’s attendance falls below 90%, arrangements will be made for parents/carers to meet with the Family Liaison Officer in school to discuss and resolve any issues. An attendance support plan may be initiated if needed. If no resolution can be found and absence continues to cause concern then referrals to the Education Welfare Officer will be made.
Leave of Absence
The Principal may not grant any leave of absence to pupils during term time unless they consider there to be ‘exceptional circumstances’. We define ‘exceptional circumstances’ as an instance where absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a child’s rehabilitation from a medical or social emotional mental health immediate leave due to family bereavement or consideration to a request for children of Service personnel. The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, considering the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the Principal’s discretion.
Valid reasons for authorised absence include:
- When a family needs to spend time together because of an immediate family member’s bereavement, crisis or serious illness.
- Funeral of immediate family member.
- Religious observance.
- Children of service personnel about to go on deployment (permission would be considered as long as the request is accompanied by a letter from the Commanding Officer).
- Incarceration of a parent/carer.
- One day of absence may be authorised for a wedding of an immediate family member and the invitation has been provided as evidence.
- One-off sporting event or performing arts competition.
- One day of absence may be authorised for an immediate family member’s graduation ceremony/passing out parade.
- Leave of absence for children of the Armed Forces.
It is important to note, Fixed Penalty Notices are issued to each parent of each absent child, (for example 2 children and 2 parents, means each parent will receive 2 invoices in the amount of £120 each, totalling £240 for both children, this is reduced to £60 per child if paid within 21 days).
For more information, please see the Attendance Policy & other useful documents below: