Parents have a legal duty to ensure their children attend school regularly and there are strict Government rules on absence from school.
We believe that for children to make good progress and maintain friendships, good attendance is vital. Research proves that if a child's attendance drops to 90% or less, there can be a significant impact on achievement, with children finding school more challenging, both in terms of their learning and also their friendships, confidence and social skills. At St Patrick’s, we are passionate at supporting parents/carers in maintaining high levels of attendance so that each child has the best possible educational experience.
Our aim is that every child's attendance will be above 97%.
All absences must be reported to the school on each day of illness by 8:50am. To report an absence please either phone the school on 01252 542511 and choose option 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, with the following information: child’s name, year group and reason for their absence: please be as specific as possible about the illness. You will be contacted by the school by telephone if we have not heard from you by 9.30 a.m.
Standard medical or dental appointments should be made outside school hours. If a child is absent for a medical appointment, it is still regarded as an absence from school and parents will need to provide proof of the appointment. Where there is no alternative for an appointment outside of the school day, children should only miss a short period of time and return to school as promptly as possible. Please complete a leave of absence form for unavoidable appointments with as much notice as possible: a copy of the form can be found at the bottom of the page.
Each year there are only 190 statutory school days, which leaves 175 days (weekends and school holidays) for non-urgent medical and dental appointments, treats or holidays.
If there are exceptional circumstances as to why a child/ren should be taken out of school, parents/carers must complete a leave of absence request form in advance of the trip.
Requests for leave of absence during term time will rarely be authorised and only in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the head teacher. Although each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis a child/ren 's overall attendance will be taken into account.
When requests are declined this is regarded as an unauthorised absence and if it is taken, each parents is liable to a fixed penalty notice which may result in a £60 fine per parent.
A ‘Request to Authorise Absence from School due to Exceptional Circumstances’ form needs to be completed prior to the absence. This should be returned to the school office at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to the first date of absence. We understand that in some cases (e.g. a change of circumstance or an emergency) this may not be possible. A copy of the form can be found at the bottom of this page and copies of this form are also available from the school office.
Any child who regularly misses school sessions (a session is either AM or PM, therefore one missed day counts as two sessions) is monitored by the school and by the local authority. We are obliged to issue Penalty Notices for all unauthorised absences of 5 days/10 sessions or more. Mrs Tong monitors absence and lateness and will make contact with families to discuss specific cases on a regular basis.