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Jesus Christ, Son of Mary, Son of God, is the centre of

the Rosary Community where we live, love and learn together

Attendance and Punctuality

Whole School Attendance Letter September 2023

Rosary Attendance HEROs


At the Rosary School, we encourage all our pupils to be an Attendance H.E.R.O. 





At the Rosary Catholic School we recognise the importance of being in school on time everyday and encourage all our pupils to be an attendance hero. Each half term we celebrate attendance with a disco for those children in school everyday, on time. We realise that illnesses do happen and there are times when children can't attend and so we also have our class reward for the class with the highest attendance for the half term.  

Why is school attendance important?

Pupils with good attendance are more likely to do well at school. When pupils miss school, even if the time period is very short, it can lead to gaps in their learning which might make future lessons more difficult for them.

Regular attendance helps pupils to feel part of the school community and enables them to develop good relationships with their peers and other members of the school community. This can have a positive impact on their wellbeing and help them to feel more settled in school.

When a pupil attends school every day, it helps to establish good routines and habits for their later life.


What does the law say?

It is a legal requirement for schools to keep a record of attendance and the reasons for any absences. There are clear guidelines set out by the government about how schools should manage attendance and schools are expected to follow these.

Only the headteacher can officially authorise an absence but, unless there is a concern, other staff will usually do this on their behalf. Parents and carers should provide reasons for absences to enable the school to decide whether or not to authorise the absence based on government guidelines.

Parents and carers must ensure that their child attends school regularly. Failure to do so, without good reason, is an offence, even if they are missing school without your knowledge. Parents and carers of children with unauthorised absences may be subject to a fixed penalty notice/legal action.


What are the different types of absence?

There are two broad categories of absence:

Authorised absence: This is an absence that has been authorised by the school for a legitimate medical, emergency or unavoidable situation.

Typical examples of authorised absence include:

  • illness that means a child is too unwell to come to school;
  • following NHS advice regarding remaining off school following a period of illness (in the case of certain infectious illnesses);
  • an emergency medical or dental appointment;
  • the recent death of a close family member;
  • religious observance, as long as certain conditions are met.

Unauthorised absence: This is where a pupil’s absence is for a reason deemed to be unacceptable by the school or where the reason for a pupil’s absence has not been provided and cannot be established.

Some examples of unauthorised absence include:

  • looking after a younger sibling;
  • Page 1 of 3

    time off for birthday celebrations;
  • a family holiday (unless there are exceptional circumstances);
  • oversleeping;
  • shopping trips or days out;
  • waiting in for a delivery.


Why is it important that my child is on time each day?

When children are late to school, they may initially feel unsettled and they might miss important information and activities.

Schools are required to record late arrivals. If pupils arrive after the start of the school day but when the register is still open, it will be recorded as a late mark. If pupils arrive after the register closes (which government guidelines state must be within 30 minutes of the register opening), then their morning mark will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, unless evidence can be provided that there are exceptional circumstances that led to the late arrival.


How does occasional absence affect my child?

Missing occasional days from school may seem unimportant at the time; however, this can have a significant impact on your child in the long term:

% of attendance in a school year

Number of days absent

Weeks missed



Less than 1 week



Nearly 2 weeks



Nearly 4 weeks



Nearly 6 weeks


A pupil with 85% attendance is missing nearly half a term of learning time each school year.

Regular absences can result in poorer outcomes over time. Research shows that pupils who miss between 10% and 20% of school (which is between half and one day per week on average) stand only a 35% chance of achieving five or more good GCSEs, compared to 73% of those who miss fewer than 5% of school days.

Late arrivals also add up over time – being 10 minutes late each day adds up to two weeks of lost learning time over the whole school year.


What about medical appointments?

We understand that pupils need to attend medical and dental appointments and that it is not always possible to arrange this outside of school time. However, we would request that any non-emergency appointments are made for outside of the school day as this keeps the disruption to a minimum and ensures that they do not miss important lessons.


Why won’t the school usually authorise absence for a family holiday?

We recognise that family vacations during the school holidays can be expensive and that booking a cheaper term-time holiday might be tempting. However, headteachers can only authorise leave during term time if there are exceptional circumstances, even if your child has an excellent attendance record or if you believe that the reason for the absence is justified.

Parents and carers should plan their holidays around school holidays and avoid asking for permission to take their children out of school unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

Requests for term-time absences will be considered on a case-by-case basis taking the facts, circumstances and any supporting evidence into consideration. Leave of absence due to exceptional circumstances is at the discretion of the headteacher. This includes the length of time that the leave will be granted for.

Attendance Champions! 

Each term teachers have the chance to select two children who have been in every day, on time and have a positive attitude. The children are nominated to go on a trip as a reward! 


These superstars were rewarded with a trip to congratulate them for making such a huge effort with their attendance and attitude to learning. All of these children are in every day, ready to learn and on time! Well done children!



Who will be our 'Always Children' in the Spring term? 

2022 - 2023

Attendance Winners


Our Attendance Stars

How to help your child.


Please ensure your child is in school on time everyday. Breakfast club is open from 8.25am every morning with the school gate opened at 8.35am. Registration is at 8.55am and anyone arriving after this time is marked as late. Children arriving late miss out on learning time and disturb the learning of their classmates. 


First Day Contact


If your child is going to be absent from school for any reason at all, please contact the school office on the first day of your child’s absence.

Failure to contact the school may result in:

 a call from our school office

 a home visit from our Pastoral Support Manager


Continued absence and/or failure to contact the school may result in:

 prosecution through the courts

 police intervention


Please note: The Rosary Catholic Primary School has a duty of care once your child enters the education system. If we do not know why a pupil is absent and we are concerned by the unknown absence the school may have no alternative but to contact the police and report the pupil as missing.


It is important that you contact the school as soon as possible and maintain communication with school throughout your child’s absence.



Holiday Requests


Did you know?


 Pupils only spend 190 days each year in school.

 Pupils who lose time from school do not do as well as they could.


A 2013 amendment to The Education (Pupil Registration)(England) Regulations 2006, means that Headteachers can’t authorise leave during term time. Court action could result in you having a criminal record.


Please consider carefully before taking children out of school for holidays. 


Monitoring Attendance


As a school we monitor attendance on a weekly basis; this information is shared through our newsletter. If attendance falls below 90% you will receive a letter to inform you that it has become a concern and attendance will be carefully monitored. If attendance continues to decline, parents will be invited into school to discuss issues that may be impacting attendance and informal support offered. If despite this support, attendance continues to decline, families will be invited to work with school using an Early Help plan. If school based support does not have the intended impact, it may sometimes in the best interest of the pupil to refer to the LA legal department. In these circumstances the following will apply.


Section 23(1) Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2007: Penalty notices may be issued to the parent of pupils who have unauthorised absence from school for first offences. (In cases of excessive absence, or repeat offences, whether for ongoing absence or leave in term time, the matter may be referred straight to Court)


The amount of the penalty is £60.

 If this is not paid within 21 days, the amount rises to £120.

 If not paid within 28 days, the Local Authority may prosecute under section 444(1) unless it comes to our attention that the penalty notice had been issued in error.


Section 444(1) Education Act 1996: “If you are the parent of a child of compulsory school age who fails to attend school regularly, you are guilty of an offence.”

 The court can fine each parent up to £1,000 per child, order payment of the prosecution costs, impose a victim surcharge, and/or make a Parenting Order.


Section 444(1A) Education Act 1996: If in the above circumstances you, the parent, know that your child is failing to attend regularly at the school and fail without reasonable justification to cause him/her to attend, you are guilty of an offence.”

 The court can fine you up to £2,500 per child and/or sentence you to a period of imprisonment of up to 3 months, impose a victim surcharge and order payment of the prosecution costs.


Please note that:

 Penalties and prosecutions are in respect of each parent for each child.

 ‘Parent’ includes any person who is not a parent of the child but who has parental responsibility for the child (and applies whether or not that person lives with the child) or who has care of him/her.


Our aim is to support you and not to prosecute families.


How do we monitor attendance?


For those children with attendance between 86% - 90% a letter will be sent to parents to make them aware that attendance is an issue. Parents will be given 4 weeks to improve attendance to above 90%; this will be monitored by the attendance team.


For children with attendance between 81% - 85%, the pastoral team will monitor every 3 weeks. This will allow parents a period of time to improve attendance, once above 86%, monitoring will be extended to 4 weeks.


For children with attendance between 76% - 80%, the pastoral team will be monitoring every 2 weeks and will be tracking improvements over the 2 week period.


For children with attendance below 75%, the pastoral team will monitor weekly.


All staff understand their role in safeguarding children and if attendance declines rather than improves, parents will be invited to a meeting and referrals made to the appropriate agencies if in the best interest of the child.



Arriving Late


When your child is late arriving at school, they miss the teacher’s instructions and the introduction to the lesson. This has a negative impact on your child’s education and is disruptive to their classmates. Your child may also feel embarrassed at having to enter the classroom late. Frequent lateness can add up to a considerable amount of lost learning and can seriously disadvantage your child.



School Attendance a very important message for all parents/carers September 2022

Attendance message - English and Romanian

Do I need to keep my child off school?

It is important your child is in school every day.  Frequent absence can add up to a considerable amount of lost learning and can seriously disadvantage your child in adult life. How does your child compare?


Attendance during one school year

equals this number of days absent

which is approximately this many weeks absent

which means this number of lessons missed


19 days

4 weeks

100 lessons


38 days

8 weeks

200 lessons


57 days

11.5 weeks

290 lessons



It is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure their children receive appropriate education. Failing to send your child to school regularly without good reason is a criminal offence. Absence disrupts the education of the individual pupil and the whole class. Are you aware that children who do not attend regularly:


  • Do not achieve well in exams
  • Find it difficult to maintain friendships
  • Are more likely to become involved in crime
  • Miss out on opportunities in further education and the world of work


Absence can only be authorised by the Head Teacher, within the boundaries set by the Education (Pupil Registrations) (England) Regulations 2006. Please remember that parental illness, going shopping, visiting family, truancy, not wanting to go to school, alleged bullying (speak to school immediately to resolve the issue) are not acceptable reasons to be absent. All of these will be recorded as unauthorised absence, including if your child arrives at school after the close of registration. Leave in term time will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances. Legal action that may be taken include:


  • Issuing penalty notices: Each parent receives a penalty notice for each child who has unauthorised absence.  The penalty is £60 or £120 depending on how soon payment is made.  So, if there are two parents and two children the total penalties could be up to £480. Failure to pay may result in prosecution.


  • Taking parents to court for unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1) - court can fine each parent up to £1000 per child, order payment of prosecution costs and/or impose a Parenting Order.


  • Taking parents to court for persistent unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1A) - court can fine each parent up to £2,500 per child, order payment of the prosecution costs,  impose a Parenting Order and/or sentence a period of imprisonment of up to 3 months.


We would like to thank those parents who make sure their child is attending school regularly and are therefore benefiting fully from their educational opportunity.  

Jesus Christ, Son of Mary, Son of God, is the centre of

the Rosary Community where we live, love and learn together