Pupil Attendance


Children need to attend regularly to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Research shows that attendance and punctuality are improtant factors in school success.


Parents can support regular school attendance by:

  • Making sure their child leaves for school early enough to arrive at school on time
  • Supporting and encouraging their child by attending parent’s evenings and other events
  • Contacting the school to discuss any concerns regarding their child’s  attendance
  • Working in partnership with the school to resolve any issues that are impacting on their child’s attendance
  • Making any medical appointments outside of school hours whenever possible
  • Not taking children out of school for holidays in term time or for other unnecessary reasons

Persistent Absence and Unauthorised Absence

We take a proactive approach to improving the attendance of individual children whose attendance falls below 95%. Children who have less than 90% attendance are classed by the Department for Education as being persistently absent. We will communicate concerns about poor attendance to parents and use an escalating approach including letters, meetings in school and/or a referral to the Attendance Team at Warrington Borough Council, in order to support parents in improving attendance.


St. Anne's Catholic Primary School Attendance Policy


We aim to ensure that all children attend school regularly and on time to enable them to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available. Regular, punctual attendance is valued and positively encouraged for all of our pupils. Our pupils get one chance for a successful education – every moment of every day counts.

It is a parent’s duty, under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996, to ensure their child of ‘compulsory school age to receive an efficient, full time education’. A child is of compulsory school age from age five, when a child should attend school from the start of the term commencing on or after his/her fifth birthday. A child is of compulsory school age throughout the primary school years. We encourage good attendance from the start of a child’s time in school in Nursery.

‘Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.

The government expects:

  • Schools and local authorities to:
    • Promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence
    • Ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled
    • Act early to address patterns of absence
  • Parents to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly.
  • All pupils to be punctual to their lessons

School Attendance, Department for Education, November 2016


This attendance policy ensures that all staff and governors in our school are fully aware of and clear about the actions necessary to promote good attendance.

Through this policy we aim to:

  • Improve pupils’ achievement by ensure high levels of attendance and punctuality.
  • Achieve a minimum of 95.5% for all pupils, apart from those with chronic health issues.
  • Create an ethos in which good attendance and punctuality are recognised as the norm and seen to be valued by the school.
  • Raise awareness of parents, carers and pupils of the importance of uninterrupted attendance and punctuality at every stage of a child’s education.
  • Ensure that our policy applies to Reception age children in order to promote good habits at an early age.
  • Work in partnership with pupils, parents, staff and the Education Welfare Service so that all pupils realise their potential, unhindered by unnecessary absence.
  • Promote a positive and welcoming atmosphere in which pupils feel safe, secure and valued, and encourage in pupils a sense of their own responsibility.
  • Establish a pattern of monitoring attendance and ensure consistency in recognising achievement and dealing with difficulties.
  • Recognise the key role of all staff in promoting good attendance.


The most vital part of encouraging good attendance is to ensure that the school is a place to which the children want to come: that the school is a place where the children are treated with respect and feel valued; a place where their needs are recognised and are being addressed; a place where all children can experience success within a rich, relevant and diversified curriculum.

It is clear that children alone cannot ensure their regular and punctual attendance at school. From the outset, parents are encouraged to take an active interest in the work of the School and to build and support their children’s enthusiasm for attending school.

All staff make children aware of the importance of good attendance and children are praised.

Each child’s attendance record is shared with the parents as part of annual written reports and at Parent Consultations, attendance is discussed. It follows that individual records of attendance are kept and are passed onto subsequent schools.


The school will consider annually, in accordance with its support needs in relation to attendance, whether it wishes to purchase a Traded Service from the Cheshire East Attendance and Out of School Team.

The school will log conversations with parents on CPOMS and add on a note on SIMS about attendance to assist in the monitoring of attendance and the offering of support.

By law, schools must take a morning and afternoon register and record the attendance or absence of every pupil. The school will ensure that its staff receive appropriate training and support to appropriately use attendance codes in line with DfE guidance and best practice.

To enable the appropriate coding of attendance or the authorisation of absence, the school may request additional information or evidence, eg. in relation to medical appointments or illness. (Medical evidence may include: an appointment letter, a GP appointment card signed / stamped by a receptionist, a prescription, prescribed medication.)

Regular checks on attendance are carried out by all class teachers. The Attendance Registers are marked twice each day, at the start of the morning session and again in the afternoon. Registers are checked by Administrative Staff.

All absences and persistent lateness are investigated. When the register closes the Administrative Staff check the messages and operate ‘first day calling’ for those pupils absent with no reason given.

Attendance data is held electronically on separate SIMS Management Information System, accessible by the Headteacher and Administrative Staff who are able to conduct spot checks on individual children and provide comprehensive attendance records.

The Headteacher monitors the attendance of pupils each half term. The flow diagram and letters appended, outline the school’s approach for monitoring and enabling attendance.

Returns of school data are made termly to the Department for Education (DfE) and benchmark data exists to compare our school within local and national contexts.

The school sets attendance targets each year. These are agreed by the Senior Leadership Team and Governors at the first Full Board meeting of the school year. Targets are challenging yet realistic, and based on attendance figures achieved in previous years


The Headteacher monitors lateness of pupils as being punctual for school is  crucial. Lateness into school causes disruption to that individual's learning and to that of the other pupils in the class. It is paramount therefore that all pupils arrive at school on time. The gates open at 8.45 a.m. for all year groups and close at 8.55am. 

The school day starts after the gates close at 8.55 a.m. for all year groups. Pupils who arrive after these times will be recorded as late to school (L code).

The Registers close at 9.25 a.m. and after this, lateness is recorded as an unauthorised absence (U code).

The Afternoon begins at 12:45p.m. for Reception, 1.00pm for Y6 and 1.15pm for all other year groups.

Where there are concerns about punctuality, the school will make verbal contact with parents/carers. If the concerns persist, the Headteacher will write to the parents/carers using the appended letter about punctuality, including a copy of the child’s registration certificate, and stating the total minutes late over a determined period.

If there is no improvement, the school will arrange a meeting with the parent/carer. In the event of persistent lateness, the school may make a formal referral to Cheshire East attendance team.


The DfE recognises the importance of regular attendance and it is a requirement for the Headteacher to decide with every absence whether it is authorised or unauthorised. The final decision is made by the Headteacher.

Wherever possible parents are expected to make routine appointments (e.g. medical, dental) outside of school time.

If a child is absent from school for any reason the parent must inform the school in person, in writing or by telephone as soon as possible of absence and reason for it. Such calls are always logged and the class teacher informed.

Unauthorised absences are those absences for which the school received no reason/explanation or if the school has good reason to doubt the explanation given.

Valid reasons for authorised absence include:

  • Illness and medical/dental appointments.
  • Religious observance – where the day is exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the pupil’s parents belong. If necessary, the school will seek advice from the parents’ religious body to confirm whether the day is set apart.
  • Traveller pupils travelling for occupational purposes – this covers Roma, English and Welsh Gypsies, Irish and Scottish Travellers, Showmen (fairground people) and Circus people, Bargees (occupational boat dwellers) and New Travellers. Absence may be authorised only when a Traveller family is known to be travelling for occupational purposes and has agreed this with the school but it is not known whether the pupil is attending educational provision



Leave of Absence

Head teachers shall not grant any Leave of Absence during term time unless they consider there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application. Parents do not have any entitlement to take their children on holiday during term time.

Any application for leave must establish that there are exceptional circumstances and the Head Teacher must be satisfied that the circumstances warrant the granting of leave. Parents should complete a leave of absence form which is available from the school office or to download from the school website.

Head Teachers will determine how many school days a child may be absent from school if the leave is granted.

The school can only consider applications for Leave of Absence which are made by the resident parent. i.e. the parent with whom the child normally resides.

Applications for Leave of Absence must be made in advance and failure to do so will result in the absence being recorded as “unauthorised”. This may result in legal action against the parent, by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Applications for Leave of Absence which are made in advance and refused will result in the absence being recorded as “unauthorised”. This may result in legal action against the parent, by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice, if the child is absent from school during that period.

All matters of unauthorised absence relating to a Leave of Absence will be referred to the Cheshire East’s Attendance and out of school team.

Cheshire East’s Attendance team have the authority to consider issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for Leave of Absence in line with Cheshire East’s Council’s Non-School Attendance and Penalty Notices Code of Conduct

If a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued and is not paid within the timeframe set out in that Notice, the matter will be referred to Cheshire Easts Council’s Legal Services to consider instigating criminal prosecution proceedings under S444 of Education Act 1996.

Each application for a Leave of Absence will be considered on a case by case basis and on its own merits.

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).



The Office will analyse absence termly and inform the Head Teacher of any concerns.

Children who repeatedly do not attend school (absence of less than 95% - which by the end of the year will mean the child has missed 10 days of school) will be brought to the attention of the Head Teacher, who will authorise the issue of a first letter to identify the issue with the parents/carers and to explain the impact of poor attendance.  The Head Teacher may defer sending this letter if there is a known serious medical reason for the absence.

If the attendance fails to improve over the following half term, the letter will be followed up with a letter inviting the parents/Carers to attend a meeting with the Head Teacher to discuss any support that the school can give.

If attendance continues to be poor the school will contact the EWO for support in managing the absence.



Where a pupil has 10 consecutive school days of unexplained absence and all reasonable steps have been taken by the school to establish their whereabouts without success, the school will make an immediate referral to Cheshire Easts Attendance Team.

Reasonable steps to be taken by school staff include:

  • Telephone calls to all known contacts (parents are asked to provide a minimum of two emergency contacts in the event of children not arriving at school without prior notification and also for other emergency purposes).
  • Letters home (including recorded delivery)
  • Contact with other schools where siblings may be registered
  • Possible home visits
  • Enquiries to friends, neighbours etc. through school contacts
  • Enquiries with any other Service known to be involved with the pupil/family

All contacts and outcomes to be recorded on the pupil’s file on CPOMS.



The attendance officer at our school monitors pupil absence on a daily basis.

A pupil’s parent/carer is expected to call the school in the morning if their child is going to be absent due to ill health.

If a pupil’s absence goes above 5 days, the school will contact the parent/carer of the pupil to discuss the reasons for this.

If a pupil’s absence continue to rise after contacting their parent/carer, a meeting will be arranged with the headteacher and we will consider involving Cheshire East’s Attendance Team.

The persistent absence threshold is 10%. If a pupil's individual overall absence rate is greater than or equal to 10%, the pupil will be classified as a persistent absentee.

Pupil-level absence data will be collected each term and published at national and local authority level through the DfE's school absence national statistics releases. The underlying school-level absence data is published alongside the national statistics. The school will compare attendance data to the national average, and share this with the governing board.

St. Anne’s collects and stores attendance data to be used for internal purposes. For example, to:

  • Track the attendance of individual pupils
  • Identify whether or not there are particular groups of children whose absences may be a cause for concern
  • Monitor and evaluate those children identified as being in need of intervention and support.

Expected Levels of Attendance

Attending school regularly and on time has a positive impact on learning, progress and therefore the best life chances for pupils. Research shows that attendance and punctuality are important factors in school success. 

At St. Anne's, we expect all children to achieve attendance that is at least 96%.


For appendices, please see our Policy. 

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St Annes Catholic Primary School

Wellington Road

Main Contact: Mrs M Ashbrooke, School Business Manager

Tel: 01270 260783

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