Attendance | Middleton St Mary's Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School
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Attendance Warning Letter

Pupil attainment, achievement and development depend on regular attendance in school. Encouraging good attendance is the shared responsibility of the school, pupils, parents and all other educational partners. The aim of our school is to offer a broad, creative and inclusive curriculum and an ethos which will encourage our children to have a sense of belonging to the school community. Through strong Christian values and expectations we will ensure that pupils enjoy coming to school and recognise the importance of good attendance and punctuality.


We aim to…

  • Raise attainment and achievement levels by having high expectations of attendance from our whole school community

  • Create a culture in which good attendance is celebrated and accepted as the norm

  • Have a safe and nurturing environment, which is responsive to our school community and where teaching, learning and development of pupils encourages outstanding attendance

  • Work closely with other agencies to support pupils and families and in turn raise attendance

  • Raise the profile and understanding of outstanding attendance and reduce the number of persistent absence.



3.1 Agreed Codes: All schools within the Cluster will use the agreed coding for absences and late arriving pupils. Please see Appendix 1.


3.2 Absence due to appointments -Medical, Dental or Hospital Appointments: It is expected that these appointments will take place out of school time in order not to disrupt the pupil’s education. Full day absences for medical appointments will not be authorised unless discussion takes place between a the Headteacher or Deputy Head and home. Please call in at the office and ask to speak to Mrs Wood or Mr Hemming. For hospital appointments to be authorised, pupils or parents should produce the medical appointment card/letter, and these will be authorised at the discretion of the Headteacher. Pupils will be expected to attend school before or after the appointment (or both) depending on the time of the appointment. Should this be an issue with individual medical practices parents are entitled by law to request a copy of all medical appointments for their child.


3.3 Exceptional Circumstances Absence: All schools within our cluster expect that parents will take their holidays during the approved school break. It should be noted that there are 175 days each year when pupils are on holiday from school. The cost, convenience or availability of a particular holiday will not be taken into consideration. Parents must accept that additional absence will be unauthorised and will be coded so upon their pupil’s attendance record.


3.3.1 Absence for religious observance may be agreed by the Headteacher but will not exceed 2 days in any school year.


3.3.2 The Government has changed the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations in relation to term time holidays and this came into force on 1 September 2013.


3.3.3 The generic penalty notice warning letter was sent to all parents in September 2013 and again in September 2014. The penalty warning notice letter is published on our school website. As a result, Headteachers can no longer allow any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. This means that holidays in term time will not be authorised and will be marked as an unauthorised absence in the school register. Any request for Exceptional Circumstances Absence must be put in writing to the Headteacher. Please see Appendix 2.


3.3.4 In the event of a parent taking a pupil out of school for an unauthorised holiday, following the change in Government Regulations in September 2013 the school must inform the local authority who may issue a fixed penalty.


3.4 Registers: Legally, registers must be taken twice daily, am and pm. All school registers will be taken immediately during a fire drill. Please see Appendix 3 for register procedures.

3.5 First day of absence: In the event of your child not being able to attend school parents must inform school before the start of the school day. Failing this, schools will try to make contact with parents on the first day of a pupil’s absence. If schools are unable to make contact by telephone, text or home visit they will continue each successive day of absence, until they successfully make contact and find the reason for the absence. Records of first day contact and reasons for absence will be recorded on SIMS. Failure to clarify the reason for absence will result in the absence remaining unauthorised and will be recorded on CPOMS (Child Protection Online Management System) under attendance, it may be identified as Parentally Condoned Truancy. The authorisation of any absence is at the Headteacher’s discretion and there may be occasions when the Headteacher does not authorise absences, despite a reason being given.


3.7 Lateness: Our school doors open at 8:45am and all children are expected to be in the school building by 8:50am. Doors close at 9am and children arriving after this point are late. Late is marked as ‘L’ on the register. Registers will be closed 30 minutes after the start of the school day. Arrival after this time will result in the pupil receiving a U code, this is classed as an unauthorised absence. School will monitor lateness and make contact with parents if their children are persistently late. Parents may have to attend an attendance panel meeting.


4. Rewards

4.1 Half termly certificates: Children with 100% attendance will receive a certificate in Family Worship at the end of the half term.

4.2 Class Trophies: Early years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 each have a trophy. The highest attending class will have the trophy presented each week in Family Worship.

4.2.1 All staff in school are expected to show a real value of attendance and build a sense of excitement and healthy competition.

4.2.2 Where classes are not winning the trophy, classroom staff should be encouraging and remind children of the importance of attending school.

4.2.3 When classes do win the trophy, it should be valued and displayed in a prestigious way. The status of outstanding attendance has to remain high always.

4.2.4 Our attendance target is 97%. If a class wins the trophy with 97% or above, they may also have a 15 minute additional break time or choice time. This must be staffed by classroom staff. Additional play does not apply to Early Years as they have continuous access to outdoor provision.

4.2.5 Mrs Southern will prepare the class percentages for morning and afternoon Family Worship each Friday.

4.2.6 House points at the end of Friday afternoon class teachers must award each child a house point if they have attended for 100% of the week. If there is a supply teacher in the class, the class teaching assistant must inform the supply teacher of this reward.


5. Duties and Responsibilities

5.1 All staff across the Cluster, in all schools are responsible for promoting and raising attendance. The key leaders with additional responsibility in the implementation of this policy are the Headteacher, SLT, Learning Mentor(s) and office staff with attendance responsibility, parents/carers, pupils themselves and the class teacher in conjunction with the Local Authority and Governors. The member of the Governing Board has a designated responsibility for Attendance is Andrea Render.


5.2 In order to prepare children for a successful school experience it is vital to promote good attendance from an early age. The Cluster promotes excellent attendance from 0- 19 years.


5.3 All parents/carers;

  1. Safeguarding: If a child continues to be absent with no reason, further enquiries will be made promptly. In the event of schools being unable to locate a child they will refer immediately to relevant external agencies. If a parent has applied for exceptional circumstances leave for their child, parents will be advised that if they do not return by the agreed return date then they may be taken off school roll whilst following CME (Child Missing from Education) procedures. This could lead to the permanent loss of a school place.
  • have a legal responsibility to ensure their child(ren) of school age receive a full time education and legally pupil’s must go to school every day during term time unless there is a valid reason for non-attendance

  • must inform the school on the first day of absence

  • must provide school with a reason for non-attendance

  • ensure that their children are punctual and know the importance of good attendance

  • must ensure that their children are collected from school on time

  • show any documentation requested by the school

  • must where possible book any medical appointments outside of the school day

  • must not book any holiday no matter how short out of school time


5.4 Pupils must;

  • be aware that good attendance is important for their learning

  • take responsibility for their own attendance as early as possible

  • know the acceptable and unacceptable reasons for not coming to school

  • know to report to the office if they are late and know there may be a consequence for arriving late into school


5.5 Classroom staff must promote/encourage and celebrate good attendance through the school reward systems previously described. They must also;

• complete registers correctly and on time

• pass on information about absences given to them by parents in writing to the school office

• make pupils aware that every day counts and that their attendance is important

• complete agreed school practices for raising/promoting attendance within the school

• speak to the parents on initial concerns about attendance. This must be reported on CPOMS and be

categorised as ‘attendance.’ Learning Mentors will monitor this and further action as appropriate.


5.6 Governors will;

  • delegate powers and responsibilities to the Headteacher to ensure all school personnel are aware of and comply with this policy
  • nominate a link governor to visit the school regularly, to liaise with the Headteacher and to report back to the Governing Board
  • ask questions about trends and what is being done to prevent persistent absentees or poor attendees
  • monitor termly progress towards targets
  • be responsible for the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this policy


5.7 Cluster Attendance Leadership Team: The Headteacher and Assistant Head (Inclusion) are part of the Cluster Attendance Leadership Team. Dena Southern (Learning Mentor for attendance) is also part of this team. They are responsible for;

  • attending all CALT meetings and contributing ideas
  • the development of the Cluster Action Plan and implementation of this within their schools
  • raising attendance within their individual schools along with the SLT
  • monitoring and analysing data and making appropriate links to achievement
  • promoting consistency throughout the school
  • ensuring appropriate rewards for good attendance are embedded
  • following close monitoring of procedures for persistent absentees and children who have poor attendance; this includes contacting parents and submitting detailed referrals to different agencies for Care and Support and Panels
  • ensuring requested data is submitted on time
  • sending out the positive attendance message in Assembly. Ensure the link between attendance and attainment is firmly in the minds of class teachers, pupils and parents.
  • ensuring that reviews are held in school
  • monitoring work of school’s attendance team
  • reviewing and evaluating school’s attendance policy


5.8 Our school attendance team are Mrs Southern (Learning Mentor), Mrs Murray (Admin), Mrs Aston (Assistant Head- Inclusion) and Mrs Wood (Headteacher). This team will ensure school intervention is completed which includes;

  • close monitoring and appropriate action takes place for all children and that evidence of actions are recorded (Mrs Southern)
  • sending texts/making phone calls and home visits when children are absent (Mrs Southern & Mrs Murray)
  • liaising with other relevant colleagues to identify children causing concern and to communicate all action to the Attendance Leader (Mrs Southern)
  • speaking to children and contacting parents regarding unsatisfactory attendance and agree improvement strategies (Mrs Southern)
  • liaising with Cluster for advice regarding attendance strategies (Mrs Southern & Mrs Aston)
  • collecting daily voicemail messages (Mrs Southern & Mrs Murray)
  • overseeing first day calls (Mrs Southern)
  • updating class teachers with information about the attendance of children in their class/form (Mrs Southern & Mrs Aston)
  • reporting periodically to the Senior Management Team and Governors (Mrs Aston & Mrs Wood)
  • analysing weekly attendance statistics for each Year Group to highlight trends (Mrs Southern)
  • keeping records and details of children undergoing attendance related casework (Mrs Southern)
  • keeping chronological records of:
  • all referrals and reasons

  • progress of each case

  • outcomes

  • named contacts

  • meetings with parents

  • consider referral to Care and Support for family support work for Whole Family Approach (Mrs Southern)

Designated Safeguarding Leads will discuss cases as part of supervision and will;

  • at the point of referral check school evidence gathered and discuss next steps with the school
  • liaise and make referrals where necessary to other agencies – e.g. Family Support Worker; Social Care; Housing etc - to gather information and formulate action plans. Ensuring school is kept up-to-date with any developments
  • support families and children to raise attendance and make regular visits and direct work with families/pupils who have been identified
  • support in the form of an Early Help Plan where appropriate.
  • maintain records of actions taken
  • keep relevant colleagues are kept well informed of any actions/developments for their pupils
  • prepare evidence for legal action


6. Persistent Absentees

6.1 From September 2015 the DFE have increased the percentage of attendance for a child to be classed as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ from 85% to 90%. Schools have a legal obligation to notify the local authority of pupils whose attendance is below 90%. They are then classed as a ‘Persistent Absentee’. If a pupil is missing school without good reason, schools and local authorities have a number of legal powers that they can use.


6.2 The DFE category for Persistent Absentees is as follows:-

Classification of a Persistent Absentee at the end of each half term. 90% PA

Half Term 1 (Sept - October 1/2 term)

7 sessions missed from Sept –End HT1

Half Term 2 (November - Christmas Holiday)

14 sessions missed from Sept –End HT2

Half Term 3 (January - February 1/2 term)

20 sessions missed from Sept –End HT3

Half Term 4 (February - Easter Holiday)

25 sessions missed from Sept –End HT4

Half Term 5 (Easter - May 1/2 term

31 sessions missed from Sept –End HT5

Half Term 6 ( May - Summer Holidays)

38 sessions missed from Sept –End HT6 (HT5 - This is the figure reported for the year.)


6.2 If a pupil has 31 sessions (15.5 days) absence, they are considered a persistent absentee until the end of the academic year. If a pupil reaches 31 sessions missed and leaves the school during the year, they will still be included as a PA for that year at the school. Pupils who are classed as persistent absentees will be discussed in school attendance/ DSL teams. The Local authority will be informed the names of children who are PAs each half term.


6.3 Fast Tracks: School will identify children who meet the Fast Track criteria of 10 (or more) unauthorised absences in the last 12 weeks. School will complete the initial stages of the Fast Track system with additional admin support available to all schools via the Cluster administrator. Parents who fail on the Fast track system may receive a Penalty Notice. Please see Appendix 4 for process.


NB: This policy is based on the BCM Cluster Attendance Policy







To report an absence

Text messages only:  07926389946

(Please do not call or leave voice messages on this number)


Absence calls and voicemail messages:
0113 2717206 Option 1



Start of the school day

School has offers a Breakfast Club from 7.30am each day. Please phone the school office to enquire about places.
Staff will be in the playground at 8.45am, children can then be left unattended. Children will enter school at 8.50am.
Doors will be closed at 9am. All pupils arriving after this time should enter school via the main school office. Children entering school after 9am will be given a Late mark in the register.