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St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

We live, learn and grow in the light of Christ


The Importance of Good Attendance and Punctuality.


Everyone knows that good attendance and punctuality are essential for children to be successful in their education. Children only get one education and it is the parents' responsibility, along with the school, to ensure that every child attends every day. 


It is equally important that children arrive on time each day. Children arriving late to school tend to be embarrassed and upset because they miss important instructions, don't have time to build friendships at the beginning of each day or they interrupt the work of the teacher and other pupils in the class. Children who are regularly late often present challenging behaviours to avoid going into class late.


Sickness Absence:


If your child is absent through illness or for any other reason, parents/carers will have to report the absence before 9.30am by leaving a message on the absence phone line (0191 2573097) or sending a message via school gateway. 

Any absences not accounted for will be identified as an unauthorised absence on your child’s record.

If your child is absent due to sickness and diarrhoea, please keep them off school for 48 hours from the time of their last episode.  This is to prevent the spread of illness among other children and is in line with NHS guidelines.


If you are unsure if it is suitable for your child to be in school during or after an infectious illness (e.g. chicken pox, slapped cheek), please call the school office (0191 2573097) who will be able to offer advice.



Holidays During Term Time:

There has been a significant increase in holidays absences during term time by our families; a trend seen in a number of schools.  After significant discussion in school with senior leaders and governors, as well as robust consultation with the Local Authority, we are changing our policy with regard to holidays taken during term time.  All holidays taken from 1st January 2020 will be unauthorised unless there are exceptional circumstances.  Exceptional circumstances will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If you do need to request a leave of absence for your child, please complete our new online form, available here.

We will always hope that parents/carers will be an open and honest role model to our children and report absences to us appropriately. However, if we believe a child has been on holiday or has been absent without due cause, then we will not authorise the absence.  The duty and responsibility will then fall to parents/carers to provide medical or other evidence, to show that the child has not been away on holiday or has been genuinely unwell.


When is it Acceptable to Keep Your Child Off School? 

Sometimes you may be unsure whether or not to send your child to school. 

Please read the Clennell Attendance Quiz to see which are acceptable and unacceptable reasons for absence.

Local Authority Penalty Notice:

The Local Authority will issue a Penalty Notice for any absence for term time holidays of five days or more.  This is a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt, rising to £120 if the notice is paid after 21 days but within 28 days.  If the Penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28 day period the Local Authority may prosecute for the offence to which the notice applies.  The Penalty will be issued to the parent who has chosen to take their child out of school.

Attendance Monitoring at St. Joseph's:

Having a good education will help to give your child the best possible start in life and as you will already be aware, we expect regular and punctual attendance at St. Joseph's. It is recognised that poor school attendance limits educational achievement and the future progress of young people.


The 4-stage monitoring process is being used to indicate the level of your child's school attendance:

Stage 1

Pupils who have an attendance of 93% or below. A letter will be sent out reminding parent/carer of the importance of good attendance.

Stage 2

Pupils continue to have attendance of 93% or below and have made no improvement. A letter will be sent home with a parent survey requesting more information to be provided regarding school the absence. It is also possible at this stage for parents to arrange to speak to school about any concerns they may have of their child’s school attendance.


Stage 3

Pupils continue to show little, or no improvement and attendance has not reached 93% or above. A letter will be sent home advising that the pupil is now on a 4-week monitoring period. During this period, 100% attendance is required unless medical evidence can be provided.

Stage 4

Pupils who have not passed the 4-week monitoring period will now be considered for referral to the local authority. Our goal is for all pupils to meet a target of 93% to 100% attendance.



We are asking for the co-operation of all parents

You can help us by:

  • Encouraging your child to attend school punctually.
  • Telephoning on the day of an absence and providing information to explain the absence on your child’s return to school.
  • Informing us of any changes or circumstances at home which may affect your child. Any such information will, of course, be kept in the strictest confidence.
  • Supporting your child and the school by attending parent’s meetings and taking an interest in your child's schoolwork.
  • Leave of Absence in Term Time.  Head Teachers are no longer able to grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

I hope you will support the school in this matter. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact school.