St Teresa's Catholic Primary School

Attendance and Punctuality

See Policies section of the website for current Attendance Policy 2023


Please download our attendance leaflet or Request for absence for exceptional circumstances by following the links below:

Research has shown that a child’s regular attendance at school is directly linked to raising achievement.


Children who are persistently late or absent soon fall behind with their learning. Children who are absent from school frequently develop large gaps in their learning which will impact on their progress and their ability to meet age related learning expectations. A child, whose attendance drops to 90% each year will, over their time at primary school, have missed two whole terms of learning.


At St Teresa’s we believe that all children have the right to a good education and we have put in place appropriate procedures to support this. The most important factor in promoting good attendance is the development of positive attitudes towards school and learning.


Our aim is to:

  • Support pupils and their parents/carers within our school and aim for the highest possible level of attendance and punctuality.

  • Ensure that all pupils have full and equal access to the best education that we can offer and make every minute count in order to increase learning

  • Make Parents/Carers aware of their responsibilities


Minutes Matter

If your child is late for just 10 minutes every day they will miss 50 minutes of learning every week. If you multiply this by 39 (the amount of school weeks in a year) it equates to 1950 minutes missed a year. That is a staggering 32.5 hours of lost learning.


Good attendance is important because:


  • regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically

  • regular attenders find school routines and school work easier to cope with, they also form lasting and meaningful friendships

  • regular attenders find learning more satisfying

  • regular attenders cope better with the transition between primary and secondary school.


Understanding Absence

Authorised absences.

When a child cannot attend the morning or afternoon session for a good reason such as illness, urgent medical appointments or an unforeseen emergency.


Unauthorised absence.

This means that the reason given for the absence of your child is not recognised as acceptable.

The Department for Education (DfE) and Local Education Authorities provide information for schools as what is acceptable and what is not.

Examples of reasons that would not be accepted:

  • A birthday

  • A shopping trip

  • Family day trips out

  • Looking after siblings

  • Holidays – unless have been agreed as exceptional circumstances


Responsibility of Parents/Carers


It is the parent/carers responsibility:

  • To ensure that their children arrive to school on time. Both KS1 and KS2 doors open at 8:40am until 8:50am. This is sufficient time for all pupils to get to their classroom.  

  • If a child is late (after 8:50am) they must report to the school office to sign in. Records are kept of all pupils that are late with an L code in the register. Any child that arrives after 9:30am will be marked with a U code, this is equivalent to an unauthorised absence.

  • To inform the school office if their child is not going to be in school and provide a valid reason why 

  • To ensure children are collected promptly at the end of the school day. If someone else is to collect your child then the class teacher and school office should be made aware of this.

  • To arrange medical and dental appointments outside of school hours wherever possible



Absence for Holidays

Parents/carers are expected to take their children on holiday during the school holidays to minimise the impact of missing education.

If there are exceptional circumstances, parents/carers must complete a request for absence form in advance of the trip (ideally at least 2 weeks before the trip). This form can be obtained from the website or via the link below. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Head teacher and they will use their discretion whilst applying government recommendations.

It is the parent/carer’s responsibility:

  • To obtain a leave of absence form from the school office.

  • To complete and submit the form in advance of the period of absence (ideally 2weeks prior).

If parents/carers decide to take a holiday without the Head teacher’s authorisation, the child’s absences will be marked as unauthorised.  Under these circumstances a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued by. This fine is payable at £60 per child, per parent.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is poor attendance?
A. Anything below 96% attendance is worrying as your child has less chance of success. It makes it harder for the child to progress if they are missing key learning opportunities.

Q. What will happen if my child's attendance falls below 96%?
A. Our School monitors pupil attendance regularly. If your child’s attendance falls below the expected 96% you may be sent a letter to inform you that we are concerned, if things still don’t improve you will be invited into School for an  Attendance Meeting.

Q. Isn't my child entitled to 10 days holiday or odd days off for long weekends?
A. No. The School may only authorise an absence in exceptional circumstances.

Q. What is meant by genuine medical reasons?
A. A genuine medical reason would be a childhood illness for example: Diarrhoea, sickness, chicken pox, and high temperatures.

Children should not stay home if they have minor coughs, colds, tummy aches and headaches. If your child is too poorly to remain at school the school will contact you. Please remember that even absence due to genuine medical reasons may still affect a child's attendance.

Q. What should I do if my child is absent?
A. Contact the school on the first day of absence and explain the reason for the absence. If there is no answer at the school office you can leave a voicemail message.



We are here to help, so please contact the school office if you wish to discuss any specific attendance/punctuality issues.