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Attendance Matters

Attendance Matters at St Joseph's

School Attendance Matters - A parent's guide to good attendance


Why is regular school attendance so important for my child?


Regular attendance at school means that your child can make the most of their education, improving their chances in adult life.


School can also help your child’s social skills such as making and developing friendships. A regular and punctual attendance pattern will help your child when they move into the next stage of their education and ultimately enter the world of work.


The link between attendance and attainment in school is clear. The more a pupil is in the school the more they increase their opportunity to fulfil their potential.





The school, by law has to take a register of pupils first thing in the morning and at some point in the afternoon. In line with recommendations from the Department of Education (DfE), registers will close at 9:15am. If children arrive after this time, they will be recorded as having arrived after closure of registers (Code U). This will count as an unauthorised absence for that session. This may lead to legal action for not ensuring regular and punctual school attendance.


As example, if a child arrives  at school 15 minutes late each day, they lose almost 2 weeks of education a year!



Holidays during term time


The law states that parents do not have a right to take their child out of school for a holiday during term time. Only in exceptional circumstances may a head teacher grant permission for leave.


The school governing body sets out the requirements for permission to be granted for term time leave. Please contact school if you wish to know more about this.


Parents who choose to take their child out of school without written permission from the school may be issued with a fixed penalty fine.



How can I help my child attend school regularly?


  • Talk to your child about school.
  • Take a positive interest in your child's work, including homework.
  • Make use of school planner.
  • Keep in touch with school staff.
  • Contact school on the first day if absence if your child is unable to attend for whatever reason.
  • Attend Parents' Evening and other school events.


What should I do if I'm worried about my child's school attendance? The first thing to do is contact the school to discuss your concerns.  If we are unable to resolve the problem we may suggest you speak to the Locality Attendance Officer.


What are my responsibilities regarding my child's school attendance? As a parent/carer it is your responsibility to ensure that any child of compulsory school age attends school both regularly and on time.  The Local Authority has a duty to make sure that all parents/carers fulfil this responsibility.


What will happen if my child does not attend school regularly? As a school we will contact you in the first instance to raise concerns about your child’s attendance. If we see no improvement or there are complex difficulties, a referral will be made to the Locality Attendance Officer.


What if my child's school attendance does not improve? In extreme cases, if you continue to fail in your responsibility after referral is made to the Local Authority you may be subject to a fixed penalty notice or other measure. Further information about such measure are available from the Local Authority.


How will regular school attendance help my child? School gives your child a wide range of opportunities and experiences in the form of academic lessons, educational trips and and school clubs allowing them to develop their interests and achieve their full potential.  Regular school attendance means that your child can make the most of their education.


What other support can be provided? The school can direct you to services that can:

  • Advise you on your rights and responsibilities regarding school attendance.
  • Visit you and your child in your home to discuss difficulties.
  • Liaise with school staff on your behalf.
  • Meet with your child in school if necessary.
  • Accompany you to meetings in school.
  • Suggest other agencies that may be able to help.
  • Provide information about school transfers.
  • Refer you to the exclusions officer if your child has been excluded.
  • Provide further information on the consequences of irregular school attendance.