St. Anne's Catholic Primary School, Ormskirk

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20th January 18
Trail : home / Information : Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance and Punctuality

We would like to emphasise the important role you play in your child’s education. In order to feel confident and secure your child needs to see the relationship between home and school. Good communication between families and school helps to ensure a smooth transition and also enables the teacher to learn about each child from the adult that knows them best.

What school expects from our families:

  • It is vital that each child attends school regularly.
  • Children should arrive on time every day.
  • If your child is absent for any reason you MUST contact school straight away to explain why your child will be absent. This can can done via telephone or email. If not, we will contact you.
  • Children should be collected on time at the end of the day.
  • Avoid leave in term time.  Any request for leave must be made in advance by completing a request form.


School starts at 8.50am for all children. If your child arrives after 8.50am they will be marked as late in the registers.  If they arrive after 9.20am they will be marked as 'late after registers have closed' and this means that they are deemed to have been absent for the session.  This is recorded as an unauthorised absence. 

Types of Absences

Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required.

Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness, medical/dental appointments (emergencies or other unavoidable causes) which unavoidably fall in school time.

Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no authorisation has been given. This type of absence can lead to the local authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings.

The decision whether to authorise an absence or not rests with the Headteacher.   In accordance with Regulations, leave will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances. School may ask for supporting evidence before an absence is authorised.  For example, prescriptions or appointment cards or similar.

Persistent Absences

At our school we aim for 100% attendance.  When the attendance of an individual child falls below 96%, school will start to monitor more closely the amount of time  that child has off school and the reasons behind the absence. School may use strategies such as parenting contracts, attendance panels and referrals to the local authority attendance team in order to support parents in improving attendance.

The Department for Education has determined that from September 2015 a pupil becomes a persistent absentee when their attendance falls below 90%. When attendance nears this level children have already missed significant amounts of schooling; meaning that their educational progress is at risk. We need parents' full support in ensuring that attendance does not reach this level.  Parents may be asked to attend an Attendance Panel meeting to discuss their child’s attendance.

Leave in Term Time

Changes to Regulation which came into force on September 1st 2013 have limited the extent to which Headteachers can authorise leave of absence for pupils during term time.
Prior to the changes, the regulations were 'permissive', allowing Headteachers to authorise leave if they felt the circumstances surrounding the request were 'special' or 'exceptional'.
The changes amended the wording of the regulation governing leave, making it a 'prohibitive' regulation which now states:

Regulation 7:
(1A) Subject to paragraph (2), leave of absence shall not be granted unless-

(a)    an application has been made in advance to the proprietor by a parent with whom the pupil normally resides; and
(b)   the proprietor, or a person authorised by the proprietor in accordance with paragraph (1), considers that leave of absence should be granted due to the exceptional circumstances relating to that application.

Requests for leave in term time:

  • All request for leave in term time should be made prior to any arrangements or bookings being made.
  • Parents must complete the request for leave form and provide supporting evidence if they are asking for the leave to be authorised.

In considering the request we will also look at various factors such as:

  • The timing of the request:

    When a pupil is just starting the school, absences should be avoided as this is a very important transition period as your child needs to settle into their new environment as quickly as possible.

          Pupils should not be absent where possible both immediately before and during assessment periods.

  • When a pupil’s attendance record already includes any level of unauthorised absence.
  • Where a pupil’s attendance rate is already a cause for concern, or could become concerning, as a result of taking leave.
  • Other periods of leave which the pupil may have had, either during the current or previous academic years.

Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school, or in excess of that agreed, will be classed as unauthorised and may attract sanctions such as a penalty notice.

In certain circumstances, where leave has been agreed, parents risk losing their child's place on the school roll if the pupil does not return to school on the agreed return date and readmission cannot be guaranteed.

Please note that it is highly unlikely that requests for the purposes of holidays will be granted in term time. 



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