St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

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St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School


Attendance and Punctuality - in school, on time, every day


At St Joseph’s Catholic Academy, we seek to work in partnership with families to ensure that every child develops their unique gifts and talents to their fullest potential. Regular attendance at school is essential if children are to achieve their best and make the most of every opportunity the school has to offer. 

Why is it important for children not to miss school?

Children only get one chance at school. If they do not attend school regularly, they may not be able to keep up with their school work or could miss whole sections of the curriculum.

Pupils whose attendance is good:

  • Understand lessons better
  • Achieve better results
  • Sustain friendships
  • Have good self-esteem, are positive and confident
  • Get better jobs in the future

Pupils whose attendance is unsatisfactory below 90%:

  • Don’t understand lessons so well
  • Get behind with their work
  • Find it difficult to maintain friendship groups
  • May have low self-esteem and confidence
  • Achieve less

What does good attendance mean at St. Joseph’s?

  • 100% attendance – when a pupil arrives on time and attends every lesson every day
  • At our schools we expect all pupils to achieve 95% or above as a minimum.

What does unsatisfactory attendance mean?

  • Less than 95% attendance. This will have a serious effect on learning
  • One half day’s absence every week will give 90% attendance – this is poor
  • Continual lateness
  • Research suggests that days missed from school often equates to one level lower in academic attainment.

What happens if my child is absent?

Of course, children do sometimes need to be off school because they are unwell. If your child is ill, please call the school office on 01274 727 970 as early as possible - lines are open from 8am. 

If no phone call is received by 9.30am, contact will be made to parents/carers by telephone or text message to find out why the child is not in school and a record will be kept that this phone call has been made. If the parent/carer’s telephone numbers are unavailable and school cannot make any contact, a member of the school Nurture team may make a home visit. Please speak to the school if there is a particular reason why your child is unwilling to come to school. The school's Nurture team - led by our Parent Involvement Worker Mrs Olajnuk - are always ready to support children and families in getting the root of the issue and getting it sorted out quickly. We aim for all children to love coming to school and to feel that they have good friendships. However, sometimes children need support with their confidence or problems with friendships. Telling us about these issues will really help us to work with your family to improve your child's school experience. 

If by the second week the child has not been seen and parents/carers have not made contact either, the school will contact the Education Welfare office to alert them that they have a child missing from school.

What happens if my child is persistently late or absent from school?

Children are expected to be in school for 8:45am. Any child arriving after this time should enter the school via the Main Reception and if accompanied, should give a reason for the lateness. This will be recorded in the register as present but late. Being regularly late for school means that the child misses a key part of their learning. It can also be embarrassing for children to enter a lesson or assembly which has already started.

Where there is cause for concern, letters will be sent to the parents/carers of the child to alert them to the concern. If attendance does not improve, an appointment for the parents/carers to meet the teacher or phase leader will be sent. At this meeting a parenting contract will be completed and a target set for improved attendance.

The regulations allow Head Teachers to sanction absence in “exceptional circumstances”. Please find below a list of allowable absences and those which will now be classed as unauthorised absences. The list is not exhaustive:

Allowed absence

  • Sickness with evidence after 3 days.
  • Emergency medical appointments
  • Day/s for specific religious observance
  • School is closed due to unforeseen circumstances

The following list shows allowed absence in exceptional circumstances (these may be authorised at the discretion of the Head Teacher)


  • Compassionate grounds
  • Examinations off site
  • Attendance at an event at the request of a public organisation

Absences not allowed under any circumstances

  • Family holidays, no matter what length
  • Days out

We believe that the majority of our parents share our belief that ‘every lesson counts’ and encourage regular attendance at school. We have high expectations of our children. You have high expectations of us. These expectations cannot be met if your child is absent. Please support the school and your child by insuring that your child attends school unless illness prevents them from attending.