Home Page

St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

'For every future, for every child'


Children Need to be at School to be Successful


Attendance Matters Research shows that good school attendance impacts on childrens’ success in learning. Good attendance helps children to achieve good results, helps them to fulfil their potential and gives them a chance of a better future. If s child misses a day they have missed a step in their learning and will find it more difficult to understand.


What is our Aim?

We are aiming to achieve an average attendance of 95% , with outstanding attendance above 96% in the future. Anything below 95% is poor attendance and under 90% is classified as persistent absenteeism and provides serious concerns.


Our duty of care in responding to unauthorised and persistent absence & possible consequences:

 We have a duty of care, shared with the Local Authority, to challenge poor attendance. Where attendance levels are low and where there are invalid reasons (as judged by the Education Welfare Service, not the parent) for a pupil’s frequent absence or where parents condone absence (e.g. by taking children out of school on unauthorised holidays) then parents render themselves liable to a fine of £60 per pupil per parent. This could mean a fine of £360 for two parents of three children. This would be doubled to £720 if the fine is unpaid within 21 days and could ultimately lead to a criminal conviction. We aim to avoid this and as a school we always aim to work with parents to support them in ensuring their child attends school regularly.


Unbroken attendance at school is important for learning. However, there will be times when absence is unavoidable and acceptable. Below explains the approach we are following to manage attendance.


Types of Absence:

Each absence is classed as authorised or unauthorised. Absences are coded as authorised where reasons are considered valid, and are coded as unauthorised where no explanation or unacceptable reasons are given.

Unacceptable reasons include:

  • shopping trips;
  • birthdays;
  • care for family members ;
  • days out to theme parks or to attend concerts/shows ;
  • parents’ work commitments or business trips ;
  • holidays taken in term time (including long weekends taken on Fridays and/or Mondays);
  • parent or sibling  illness;
  • waiting in for repair work of any sort


Persistent Absence: 

 Any child with attendance below 90% is considered a persistent absentee, regardless of whether school has authorised or unauthorised the absences. This equates to 38 half days (sessions) or 19 days of absence across the academic year. When a child’s attendance is close to 90%, schools are required by the Government to take swift action. These actions may include meetings in school, home visits, or instigation of legal procedures against parents of pupils who are persistently absent. Minor ailments, such as a headache or a slight cold, are not acceptable reasons for failing to attend school. Repeated absences may require the school to request that you obtain medical evidence from your Doctor’s surgery as recommended in Government guidelines.


 Illness and First Day Call:

If your child is unable to attend school through illness you should inform us by telephone on the day of absence before 8.30am. We request this is done for every day of absence that your child is missing from school. If you do not supply us with this information we have a safeguarding duty to contact you, so that we may be sure of the child’s whereabouts.


Where the child is absent through illness, this will normally be counted as authorised. Where we have concerns over excessive absence patterns through illness, we will need to discuss this with parents in order to gain a better understanding of the problems and to offer support.


Medical/Dental Appointments:

These should be arranged outside school hours where possible. Where children need to attend such appointments during the school day it is important that parents come first to the visitors’ reception before collecting children. Please bring your child to the visitors’ reception on returning from the appointment. 



Please ensure that your child arrives at school so that they are present for registration at 8.45 am each day. Meeting and exchanging news with friends before school is important for the childrens’ social development. Lateness causes problems with register marking and missed instructions.


Leave of Absence:

It is not our policy to authorise holidays in term time. Where authorisation is not granted, we are under a duty to report subsequent term time holiday absence to the Local Education Welfare Service. Unauthorised leave may result in a fixed penalty fine. This will apply to any parents who book holidays in term time.


Regular attendance at school is essential to ensure uninterrupted progress which will enable your child to fulfil their potential. If you need any support from school regarding your child’s attendance, please do let us know as we are more than happy to help.  Mrs Vickery is our Attendance Officer and can be contacted through the school.