St Bartholomew's CE Primary

Considerate, Co-operative, Confident


The school staff, alongside the Local Authority, firmly believe that all pupils benefit from regular school attendance.  To this end we will do all we can to encourage parents to ensure that the children in their care achieve maximum possible attendance and that any problems that prevent full attendance are identified and acted on promptly.

The school day starts and registers open at 8:45am.

Registration takes place between 8:45 – 8:50am (Lessons start at 8:50am and registers officially close at 9:15am).

The school day ends at 3:15pm (we are normally open for 32.5hrs per week - not including Breakfast Club and After School Clubs).


We expect that all pupils will:

  • attend school regularly;
  • attend school punctually;
  • attend school appropriately prepared for the day;
  • discuss any problems that deter them from attending school.


We expect that all parents/carers/persons who have day to day responsibility for the children and young people will:

  • encourage regular school attendance and be aware of their legal responsibilities;
  • ensure that the child/children in their care arrive at school punctually, prepared for the school day;
  • ensure that they contact the school whenever the child/children is unable to attend school;
  • contact the school on the first and every subsequent day of the absence;
  • contact the school promptly whenever any problem occurs that may keep the child away from school.


We expect that school staff will:

  • keep regular and accurate records of attendance for all pupils, at least twice daily;
  • monitor every pupil's attendance;
  • contact parents as soon as possible when a pupil fails to attend where no message has been received to explain the absence;
  • follow up all unexplained absences to obtain notes authorising the absence,
  • encourage good attendance
  • provide a welcoming atmosphere for children; provide a safe learning environment; provide a sympathetic response to any pupil's concerns
  • make initial enquiries of parents/carers of pupils who are not attending regularly, express their concern and clarify the school's and the LEA's expectations with regard to regular school attendance;
  • refer irregular or unjustified patterns of attendance to the Pupil Attendance Support Team.



The school holiday dates are published a year in advance and we strongly advise parents/carers to book their family holidays during the school holidays. If a family holiday in term time is unavoidable, a holiday request form must be completed prior to the holiday. This can be obtained from the School Office. The Headteacher will then decide whether or not to authorise the absences (please note absences will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances).

 It is a legal requirement for parents/carers to obtain the permission of the Headteacher before removing their child from school in order to take a holiday during term-time. Parents do not have an automatic right to take their children out of school for holidays during term-time and may be issued with a Penalty Notice (£120 per parent per child) if they do so without prior arrangement (due to exceptional circumstances) with the Headteacher.

 Encouraging Attendance

St. Bartholomew’s Primary School encourages regular attendance in the following ways:

  • by providing a caring and welcoming learning environment;
  • by responding promptly to a child's or parent's concerns about the school or other pupils;
  • by marking registers accurately and punctually during morning and afternoon registration. Pupils arriving at school after the start of the school will be recorded in the late book together with any reason for lateness;
  • By providing parents/carers with attendance information about their child in relation to our minimum expected level of attendance (97%) and alerting them to any concerns about we may have about this;
  • by publishing attendance statistics;
  • by celebrating good and improved attendance (including the use of 100% Attendance Certificates);
  • by monitoring pupils, informing parents/carers in writing of irregular attendance, arranging meetings with them if necessary and referring the family to the Pupil Attendance Support Team if the irregular attendance continues.

 Responding To Non-Attendance

When a pupil does not attend school we will respond in the following manner:

  • In the case of children identified as causing concern, on the first day of absence, if no note or telephone call is received from the parent/carer by 11 a.m. the school will endeavour to contact them that day. This will be marked as an unauthorised absence.
  • If there is no response, the school will continue to try to contact the parent/carer. If by the end of the second day, there has still been no contact made, the school will send a letter of concern to parents/carers or invite them into school to discuss their concerns. The school will tell parents that if the absence persists that a referral will be made to the Pupil Attendance Support Team. All sessions missed will be marked as unauthorised absences and potentially subject to Penalty Notices (fines).
  • Failure to comply with the expectations set by the Pupil Attendance Support Team may result in further action, an application for an Education Supervision Order, or court prosecution.

 Responding to Lateness

If late arrival becomes more than a ‘one off’ and not sufficiently explained, parents may initially be sent a simple reminder letter or email with a reference to school hours and an invitation to come in and discuss any problems of concerns.  Should matters not improve, parents will be made aware that the school may seek the advice of the Pupil Attendance Support Team and possibly arrange for them to visit the home.

 Persistent Absenteeism

If a child has missed 10% or more of school sessions following the Department for Education’s directive, they will be classed as a ‘Persistent Absentee’.  There may be justifiable reasons for this but the school is obligated to ensure that the parents, carers or guardians ensure they attend education as often as possible – it is a parent/guardians legal obligation.

In order to ensure this is the case, if a child has repeatedly been off school with no physical evidence produced regarding the absence, the Headteacher or Senior Leader of the school has the right to decide whether an alleged illness or reason for absence is justified.  As a result, the school may decide, if no written evidence is given, or insufficient reason is given, that a child’s absence is unauthorised.  If sufficient unauthorised attendances are recorded the school will then take action and this may result in the school issuing a request for the authority to issue a Penalty Notice.

 Changing schools

It is important that if families decide to send the child/children in their care to a different school that they inform St. Bartholomew’s Primary School staff as soon as possible.   A pupil will not be removed from this school roll until the following information has been received and confirmed:

  • the date the pupil will be leaving this school and starting the next;
  • the address of the new school;
  • the new home address, if it is known.

The pupil’s school records will then be sent on to the new school as soon as possible.  In the event that the school has not been informed of the above information, the family will be referred to the Pupil Attendance Support Team, the days missing will be marked as unauthorised absences and parents may be subject to action/Penalty Notices (even if they have left the school).

 Penalty Notices

The school may request the Authority to issue Penalty Notices if:

  • a child has missed school for inappropriate and/or unauthorised reasons.
  • A child has missed 10 or more sessions (half days) without agreement.
  • There is sufficient reason to believe the child was not in school without a valid reason.

Once the Authority has issued the Penalty Notice the school takes no further role.

The school may be asked to give further evidence if the courts require it but it is then up to the Authority and legal system to pursue the Penalty Notice. 

Penalty Notices are currently £120 per parent per pupil but this is reduced to £60 per parent per pupil if paid within a specified time (usually two weeks).  If no payment is made then parents will be asked to attend court and costs may increase considerably.  This may also result in the parent having a criminal record.  The school does not take any part in this process.


The school does not receive any moneys from fines.


The issuing of Penalty Notices is used to ensure those entrusted with a child’s education ensure they attend school.  In Education Law, anyone with parental or guardianship responsibilities, whether temporary or long term, is responsible for ensuring the child under their care attends an appropriate school.

This means that, even if you are not the legal parent or guardian, if you have temporary care over the education of a child, you must ensure they attend school and are liable for the consequences if they do not attend.


Inappropriate Absences

The DfE instruct schools to investigate unusual absences or suspected holidays during term-time.  They have made it clear that it is not the responsibility of the school to prove an inappropriate attendance but it is the parents/carer’s responsibility to prove that they were unfit to attend.  Therefore if we suspect a child was well enough to attend school we will send a letter to the parents/carers asking for evidence of the reason why they were absent.  If evidence is not provided within a set time, the absences will be classed as unauthorised and further action will be taken such as Penalty Notices being issued.  The school does not have to provide any evidence.  This may include accumulated absences over an extended period.


School Organisation

In order for the school's Attendance Policy to be successful, every member of staff takes attendance seriously and conveys this to the pupils at all times. Parents/carers need to support these views in the home to ensure that children are receiving corresponding messages about the value of education.


In addition to this, the School has the following responsibilities:


Head Teacher, Governors and designated member of school staff with overall responsibility for attendance to:

  • adopt the whole policy;
  • ensure that the registration procedures are carried out efficiently and that appropriate resources are provided;
  • initiate a scheme for contacting parents on the first day of absence;
  • consult and liaise closely with the Pupil Attendance Support Team on a regular basis and take responsibility for ensuring appropriate pupils are identified and referred
  • monitor and evaluate attendance with the Pupil Attendance Support Team.


Class teachers:

  • to complete registers accurately and punctually at least twice daily;
  • to record all reasons for absences in the register;
  • to inform the Headteacher of any attendance concerns.