St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

Attendance Protocol

The Law on school attendance and a child’s right to a full-time education

The Law entitles children, of compulsory school age to an efficient, full-time education suitable for their age, aptitude, and any special educational need they may have. It is the legal responsibility of every parent to make sure their child receives that education either by attendance at a school or by education otherwise than at a school.

Where parents decide to have their child registered at school, they have an additional legal duty to ensure their child attends that school regularly. This means their child must attend every day that the school is open, except in a small number of allowable circumstances such as being too ill to attend or given permission for an absence in advance from the school.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child, article 28 states that each child has the right to education

It is our responsibility to support the children’s legal rights to an education.

The School Day

Begins at 8:45am; however, our playground is open from 8:30am. The register closes at 9:05am. Any arrival following that time will be marked as unauthorised. The school day finishes at 3:15pm.

Any child with an illness that will affect their attendance must be reported on a daily basis, for the duration of the illness, to the school office. Failure to do so will cause an unauthorised absence and a call home from the school administration team.

It can be difficult to know whether your child is too ill to attend school. NHS guidance is clear that it is fine to send them in with a minor cough or common cold, provided they do not have a high temperature. Further information can be found at


Our school attendance ambitions for pupils with SEND and EHCP’s are the same as they are for any other pupil. We can make reasonable adjustments were required for those children with medical conditions; however, this would be implemented following consideration given to individual care plans and health referrals, such as School nursing team. We may contact services to encourage the scheduling of interventions and medical appointments outside of main school day.

There is more information regarding external agency support in our school Early Help Offer.


Pupils from these groups whose parent(s) do not travel for occupational purposes are expected to attend school. They are subject to the same rules as other pupils in terms of the requirements to attend school regularly once registered at a school.

Authorised leave will be granted when the pupil’s parent(s) is travelling for occupational purposes, following a request from the parent.


At the beginning of the week, collation of data analyzed to determine if any child has fallen below an acceptable threshold. Warning letters sent to families at the end of the week.  Sibling’s schools may be contacted to cross-reference data.

We will use our data on a fortnightly basis throughout autumn term implement an attendance flyer traffic light system, across the whole school. This is a visual reminder for students and their parents.

End of term data collated to advise school for forthcoming term and target cohorts with declining attendance.


  • Presenting a weekly ‘best class attendance’ trophy in assembly, displayed on our attendance rocket and ‘Hayley’s Comet’.
  • Presenting individual certificates each term for pupils who achieve 100%
  • Rewarding the class who achieve the most weeks of highest attendance in a term with a whole class treat.
  • Rewarding pupils who achieve 100% attendance for the whole year with a certificate and prize.


Holidays during term time are discouraged as there are a total of 175 non-school days in one year.  Holiday absence must be sought from the Head teacher.  However, the Head teacher will not authorise Holiday absence, unless there are exceptional circumstances.  Holidays will not be authorised during test week which usually falls within the first 2 weeks of May each year.  Unauthorised absences can lead to legal action resulting in a Fixed  


Our Attendance Approach

First day of absence

  • School phone call home if we have not heard from you.
  • If open to external agencies – family worker will be contacted.
  • If there are attendance or/and safeguarding concerns – a home visit may be undertaken.

Second day of absence

  • School phone call home if we have not heard from you.
  • Dojo contact from your child’s class teacher.
  • If open to external agencies – family worker will be contacted.

Third of absence

  • School phone call home if we have not heard from you.
  • Dojo contact from your child’s class teacher.
  • If open to external agencies – family worker will be contacted.
  • Home visit undertaken by member of staff.

Persistent absence

  • First warning letter
  • Second warning letter
  • Third warning letter and School Positive Attendance Plan implemented.
  • Voluntary support offered through the school Early Help Offer – Early help assessment/pastoral interventions.
  • Early Help assessment and referral to Child and Family Wellbeing service.
  • Fixed Penalty notice issued – if support has not been successful or lack of engagement.
  • Education Supervision Order with the Local Authority
  • Referral to Children’s Social Care – severe persistent absence and lack of engagement with voluntary support – due to Educational neglect.

Attendance Guide for Parents and Carers