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Late/Absence Procedures


At St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Upton, we believe that every child has a right to a good education. To achieve this we need to work with you and your child by ensuring that your child attends school. Without your child in school we can not fulfil the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage or National Curriculum.


We are required, by law, to record the attendance of every child on roll and to show who is absent or late. Figures for attendance and for authorised absence and unauthorised absence have to be sent to Wirral Borough Council (Local Authority) and the Department for Education (UK Government).


At St Joseph's, registration times are 9:00am in the morning and 1:00pm for the afternoon session (Foundation Stage to Year 4) / 1:30pm (Years 5 and 6).


Poor attendance not only impacts on a child’s progress and achievement but also on their self-esteem and well-being. The habit of being a regular, punctual attender at school will stand your child in good stead for the future, particularly in the world of work.


Absence From School

Regular attendance is a parental responsibility. If your child is unable to attend school for any reason, please contact the school before 9:00 am by telephone, calling into the school office, or emailing the school office. We will require you to phone school on each day your child is absent. If your child is absent and we have not been informed then Ms Guntrip, our attendance officer, will contact you to ensure that your child is safe and to give us an indication as to when your child will return. 


Parents and carers can explain absences but cannot authorise them. Only the school can decide whether an absence can be authorised.


Your child can be absent if he/she is too ill to go to school.


Regular unauthorised absences where a parent has not provided a reason for absence mean that parents may be breaking the law and could be:

Issued with a fixed penalty charge per parent per child by the local authority. Please see our section School Attendance Matters for further information and guidance.




It is better to be late than not to arrive at all. However, when children arrive late it can make things difficult for everyone. The teacher has to stop and ensure a newcomer is up-to-speed and settle them in, therefore the rest of the class is disrupted. The latecomer misses the first part of the lesson and will miss out on important learning. Children can often feel uncomfortable and embarrassed by being late.


Medical appointments

Parents should make every effort to arrange medical and dental appointments after school, or during school holidays. If there is no alternative and your child has to be absent, please inform the school office. Children should attend school before or return after an appointment.


Term time holidays

Parents should not take holidays during term time. The Headteacher cannot authorise leave for  holidays during term time unless in extremely exceptional circumstances. Any requests must be made in writing to the Headteacher on the appropriate form which is available from the school office.


The school has the full support of our Governors in this matter with the Headteacher’s decision being final.


Religious observance

Parent and Carers may apply for a child to be absent from school on the day of a religious festival, so that children can enjoy celebrations with their families. In most circumstances the school will authorise one day’s absence.


Exceptional circumstances

The Schools will only authorise an absence during term time, other than illness, in exceptional circumstances.


Be aware

If your child feels anxious about going to school, please let us know so we can help. If your child has frequent days off for minor illnesses, e.g. tummy ache, feeling sick. It may be a sign that there is a problem at school. Please don't let your child stay at home. It is always better to send them in and have a quiet word with the teacher, attendance officer or with our office staff. Try to talk about school in a positive way by asking questions like "What was good about school today?" Be sympathetic but firm about going to school. Speak to a member of staff any time you are concerned about your child.


If you are experiencing a lot of difficulties getting your child to school please do not hesitate to contact Ms Guntrip or Mrs Marrin.