We expect all children on roll to attend every day, when the school is in session, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so. We do all we can to encourage the children to attend, and to put in place appropriate procedures. We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is development of positive attitudes towards school. To this end, we strive to make our school a happy and rewarding experience for all children. We will reward those children whose attendance is very good. We will also make the best provision we can for those children who, for whatever reason, are prevented from coming to school.


1.2 Under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 1995, the governing body are responsible for making sure the school keeps an attendance register that records which pupils are present at the start of both the morning and the afternoon sessions of the school day. This register will also indicate whether an absence was authorised or unauthorised.


2 Definitions

2.1  Authorised absence

• An absence is classified as authorised when a child has been away from school for a legitimate reason and the school has received notification from a parent or guardian. For example, if a child has been unwell, the parent writes a note or telephones the school to explain the absence.

• Only the school can make an absence authorised. Parents and carers do not have this authority. Consequently, not all absences supported by parents and carers will be classified as authorised. For example, if a parent takes a child out of school to go shopping during school hours, this will not mean it is an authorised absence.


2.2  Unauthorised absence

• An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of both the school and a parent.

• Therefore, the absence is unauthorised if a child is away from school without good reason, even with the support of a parent.


3 If a child is absent

3.1 When a child is absent from school parents are required to call and give the reason for the absence. If the school do not hear from the parents then the school will conduct “First Day Calling”.

3.2 When the child returns to school, a note should be brought from a parent or guardian to explain the absence.

3.3 A note may be sent to the school prior to the day of absence, e.g. if a child has a medical appointment.


4 Requests for leave of absence

4.1 We believe that children need to be in school for all sessions, so that they can make the most progress possible. However, we do understand that there are circumstances under which a parent may legitimately request leave of absence for a child to attend, e.g. a special event. We expect parents and carers to contact the school at least a week in advance, but normally this request will be granted.

4.2 We naturally prefer parents and carers to take their family holiday in the normal school holiday periods but If this is not possible the school will consider each case individually and up to 10 days may be authorised.


5 Repeated unauthorised absences

5.1 The school will contact the parent or guardian of any child who has an unauthorised absence. If a child has a repeated number of unauthorised absences, the parents or guardians will be asked to visit the school and discuss the problem. If the situation does not improve, the school will then contact the LA support services, who will visit the home and seek to ensure that the parents or guardians understand the seriousness of the situation.

5.2 The governors, supported by the LA, reserve the right to consider taking legal action against any parents or guardians who repeatedly fail to accept their responsibility for sending their children to school on a regular basis.


6 Rewards for good attendance

6.1 All the children who have 100 per cent attendance in any one term will receive an excellence certificate for attendance, awarded at the last assembly of the term. There are special certificates for any child who has 100 per cent attendance for a whole year.


7 Attendance targets

7.1 The school sets attendance targets each year. These are agreed by the senior staff and governors at the annual target-setting meeting. The attendance targets are then agreed with the LA link inspector as well. The targets are challenging yet realistic, and based on attendance figures achieved in previous years. The school considers carefully the attendance figures for other similar schools when setting its own targets.


8 Monitoring and review

8.1 It is the responsibility of the governors to monitor overall attendance, and they will request an annual report from the headteacher. The governing body also has the responsibility for this policy, and for seeing that it is carried out. The governors will therefore examine closely the information provided to them, and seek to ensure that our attendance figures are as high as they should be.

8.2 The school will keep accurate attendance records on file for a minimum period of three years.

8.3 The rates of attendance will be reported in the school prospectus, and in the annual governors' report.

8.5 This policy will be reviewed by the governing body every two years, or earlier if considered








Attendance & Absence

St. Anthony’s Catholic Primary School

Genoa Road


SE20 8ES

020 8778 7681


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