St John Rigby Catholic Primary School

St John Rigby Catholic Primary School


Regular attendance at school is essential to ensure uninterrupted progress and to enable children to extend their potential.  The attendance pattern for all children is monitored weekly with the school seeking to work actively with parents to ensure a regular pattern is maintained.  We expect all children on roll to attend every day, when the school is in session as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so. 

We do all we can to encourage the children to attend, and we put in place appropriate procedures to support this.  We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is development of positive attitudes towards school and learning. As a result of this week, the school’s attendance has been consistently above the national average for the past three years.

Poor attendance can seriously affect each child’s

  • Attainment in school
  • Relationships with other children and their ability to form lasting friendships
  • Confidence to attempt new work and work alongside others

Each child’s attendance can be summarised as:


Excellent – Well Done! This will help all aspects of their progress and life in school.  This will give them a good start in life and supports a positive work ethic


Average – Well done, strive to build on this

90 – 93%

Poor – Absence is now affecting attainment and progress at school.  Please work with the school urgently to improve the situation

Below 92%

Absence IS causing SERIOUS CONCERN.  It IS affecting attainment and progress and is disrupting your child’s learning.  We will work with you and the Education Welfare Officer [EWO] to improve your child’s attendance.

Permitting absence from school without a good reason is an offence by the parent.  Only the school can ‘authorise’ absence.  The school will not assess all reasons as ‘valid’

Non-attendance is an important issue that is treated seriously.  However, each case is different and the school acknowledges that no one standard response will be appropriate in every case.  Consideration is given to all factors affecting attendance before deciding what intervention strategies to apply.

  1. In every case, early intervention is essential to prevent the problem from worsening.  It is essential that parents keep the school fully informed of any matters that may affect their child’s attendance; they are reminded of this duty in the school prospectus.
  2. Prior to the engagement of the EWO, the school may issue letters to parents clearly defining the concerns within the school regarding a pupil’s absence.  It is hoped that a quick response and change in levels of absence will prevent the need for EWO involvement.

Family Holidays/ Absence during Term Time

The Directors recognise that pupil absence during term time can seriously disrupt a pupil’s continuity of learning.  Parents are therefore strongly urged to avoid booking a family holiday in term time.  Parents do not have an automatic right to withdraw pupils from school for a holiday and in law, have to apply for permission in advance.  It is the policy of the school to not authorise holidays during term time.

When application is made for authorised absence during term time due to exceptional circumstances, the Headteacher gives consideration to:

  • The age of the child
  • The nature of the proposed absence
  • The timing of the proposed absence
  • The attendance pattern in the present and previous academic years.  Absence will not be authorised where attendance is lower than 95% or where the absence would take attendance below 95%
  • The child’s progress

Examples of what may constitute exceptional circumstances:

  1. If a parent/carer due to the nature of their work, is unable to take time off during the regular school holidays, then this might constitute an exceptional circumstance.  This would need to be evidenced with a letter from the employer.  Factors mentioned above would still need to be taken into account.
  2. If a parent/carer in a member of the forces.
  3. Bereavement