Spotlight on attendance

At St Joseph’s, we aim for every child to reach their full potential.  Research shows that children achieve better if they are on time and have good attendance.  In order to provide children with the best education, we aim for every child to achieve at least 95% attendance, with an ambitious goal of achieving 100%.  


Good attendance (95% and above) is important because:


  • Statistics show a direct link between higher achievement and good attendance
  • Regular attendees make better progress, both socially and academically
  • Regular attendees find school routines and school work easier to cope with
  • Regular attendees find learning more satisfying
  • Regular attendees have an easier transfer to secondary school


We are setting our target this year at 97%.  In order to achieve this, we need the support of parents and carers in ensuring pupils attend regularly and punctually. Any appointments are made outside of school hours. 


You will receive a letter at the end of each term to inform you of your child’s attendance and which category it falls in – this will include authorised and unauthorised marks.  This is so you can monitor your child’s attendance too.  You can request your child's overall attendance at any point by calling the school office. 


At St Joseph’s, we encourage good attendance by:

  • Celebrating with a weekly ‘best class attendance’ trophy in assembly
  • Reward classes with over 95% with a piece on their Mr Potato Head (once completed, class receives a treat)
  • Presenting individual certificates each term for pupils who achieve 95% attendance and above: Bronze – 95%+; Silver 98%+; Gold 100%
  • Rewarding pupils who achieve 100% attendance throughout the year with a special ‘attendance ambassadors’ badge
  • Rewarding pupils each half term, who have made progress and improvements to their overall attendance in that half term 
  • Sharing our weekly attendance figures for each class with parents over school Dojo and on our school website 


Attendance and punctuality is monitored regularly by SLT, office staff and Mrs Higgins. Our main objective is to support pupils and their families in raising attendance.  If attendance falls below 95%, your child’s attendance will be monitored by the school. Letters may be sent home and you may be invited into school for a meeting with the LAO to look at ways of improving attendance/punctuality.


If your child does fall ill or cannot attend school due to exceptional circumstances, then please ensure you contact the school on the first day of absence, by 9:30am stating the reason.  If the school does not receive an explanation for absence or if the explanation is unacceptable, then the absence will be marked as unauthorised. If pupils are absent frequently for medical reasons then a medical note may be requested.


Holidays during term time are not permitted.  The Local Authority recommends that no holidays are authorised in term time unless for exceptional circumstances. Holiday absence must be sought from the Head teacher by completing a ‘holiday request form’ from the office.  The Head teacher has discretion to authorise a holiday up to 10 days during term time, however the Head teacher will not authorise holiday absence, unless there are exceptional circumstances (see below).  Unauthorised absences can lead to legal action resulting in a Fixed Penalty Notice.


Criteria for Exceptional Circumstances:

  • Where it is company/organisational policy for an employee to take leave at a specified time in the year and there is no opportunity for a family holiday in school holidays
  • This must be supported by documentation from the organisation.
  • Service personnel returning from/scheduled to embark upon a tour of duty abroad.
  • To attend religious festivals or services such as the wedding or funeral of an immediate family member.
  • Other compassionate circumstances e.g. family illness or family crisis.
  • Where a holiday is recommended as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issues. Evidence must be provided from a qualified professional, such as a doctor.
  • Where there are other factors which the Head teacher may consider exceptional circumstances, this may be referred to the Local Authority for advice.
  • It should be noted that financial consideration are not deemed exceptional circumstances


You can find full details within our school attendance policy.