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Attendance Policy
Details of our Policies can be found here: St. Thomas More Catholic Primary School - School Policies (

Why is good attendance and punctuality important?

For children to reach their full educational potential, a high level of school attendance is important.

Every child has a right to access the education to which he/she is entitled. At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, we are committed to providing high quality education for all children and to doing this in an environment where all children feel welcomed and valued. Ensuring children are in school to learn with high levels of attendance means that we work in partnership with parents and carers, and when necessary with other agencies to provide support for attendance.

Ideally, pupils should be in school 100% of the time, but we know that children can be ill and so need to recuperate at home if they are too unwell to be in school. The Department for Education expects that children will have at least 96% attendance and at St Thomas More we strive to support all children achieving at least 96% attendance.

It is also vitally important that children arrive in school on time. The start of the morning is a key time in settling children comfortably into the school day, establishing routines which make children feel secure and sharing important information. When children arrive late to school, they can feel unsettled and miss out on important information: this can be very unsettling for your child.

Good attendance is important because:

  • Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and attendance that falls below 95%.
  • Regular attenders make better progress both socially and academically.
  • Regular attenders find school routines, school work and friendships easier.
  • Regular attenders find learning more satisfying.
  • Regular attenders find the transition from primary to secondary school and into further education and employment easier.


Above 97%

Less than 6 absence days a year

Excellent attendance! Pupils with this attendance should achieve the best they can.


Less than 10 days absence a year

Pupils with this attendance are more likely to achieve their targets by the end of the year.


20 days absence over the year

Pupils with this attendance are missing approximately a month (4 weeks) of school per year and may fall behind; it will be difficult for them to achieve their best.


30 days absence over the year

These pupils are missing approximately 6 weeks of school per year. It will be very difficult for them to keep up and achieve their best.


Pupils with this attendance are missing a day for every week of school

It will be almost impossible for pupils to keep up with their work and achieve their best.


Being late can mean

5 minutes late every day

3 days of learning lost in a year

10 minutes late every day

6.5 days of learning lost in a year

15 minutes late every day

10 days (2 weeks) of learning lost in a year

20 minutes late every day

13 days of learning lost in a year

30 minutes late every day

19 days (nearly 4 weeks) of learning lost in a year


How do I know if my whether my child’s attendance is good?

You can view an up-to-date measure of your child’s attendance by logging on to Arbor.

We monitor children’s attendance to enable staff to identify any potential problems promptly and offer support as soon as possible. If the monitoring shows your child as at risk of dropping below 96% attendance or 90% attendance you will be informed by letter.

What can I do to help my child have good attendance?

We recognise there are a number of different reasons why your child’s attendance might dip, for example:

  • Prolonged or frequent illness
  • Children who might feel worried or unhappy about something at school or outside of school can be reluctant to attend
  • Difficulties managing the morning routine can impact attendance and punctuality.

Ways you can help your child’s attendance to be as high as possible include:

  • Only keeping your child at home if they are too poorly to be in school. If your child is ‘under the weather’, has a cold, sore throat or headache, they usually perk up once they are in school and with their friends. The staff in school will keep an eye on your child and if they become too poorly to be in school, will contact you.
  • Do not book term-time holidays. Term-time holidays will not be authorised. The school year includes 13 weeks of school holiday which gives plenty of opportunity for family holidays and other excursions.
  • If your child is worried about something – in school or elsewhere – and it is affecting their ability to come to school, please speak to a member of staff as soon as you become aware of this. School will work with your child to help address their concerns and it is always easier to do this early, rather than after their worries have grown.
  • If you are experiencing difficulties in getting your child to school, for whatever reason, please speak to a member of staff. We may be able to signpost appropriate support or help you find different approaches to the problem.

What happens if my child’s attendance is low?

Attendance is part of the school’s safeguarding remit and so we take very seriously our responsibility in supporting children to be in school with the best possible attendance.

If school monitoring identifies that your child’s attendance is low, or dropping, we may:

  • Speak to you informally. We might ask if there is anything that is causing this and how we can help.
  • Inform you by letter.
  • Work with your child to remove potential barriers to good attendance
  • Ask for medical evidence of illness.
  • Have a more formal conversation to put a plan for improving attendance into place.
  • Visit you/your child at home.
  • Involve the Local Authority Attendance Officer.
  • In serious cases, a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) may be issued.