ST. DAVID'S R.C. NURSERY AND PRIMARY SCHOOL
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE POLICY
The governors and staff of St. David's School in partnership with the parents
believe it is vital that if pupils are to gain maximum benefit from their time at the
school, punctuality and good attendance are crucial. The role of the
parent/guardian in supporting the schools’ efforts in securing high levels of
attendance is critical.
At St. David's we intend to maintain close, effective and positive links with our
parents and ensure that they are contacted at an early stage to deal with
Parents are also requested to inform the school either verbally or by writing if their
child is absent.
Both the Education Act 1944 and the Pupils' Regulations 1956 enshrined the
principle that parent, schools and LEAs would share legal responsibilities in
respect of school attendance.
The 1944 Act required that:
Parents of children of compulsory school age must ensure that they receive an
efficient and suitable full-time education at school or otherwise. LEAs must
ensure that parents fulfil their statutory obligations as to their children's education,
including, where necessary, action through the courts.
The Pupil's Registration Regulations, 1956 provided that:
All schools (other than independent schools for boarders only) must keep an
attendance register in ink, on which, at the beginning of each morning and
afternoon sessions, a pupil should be marked present or absent.
The Education(Pupils' Attendance Records) Regulations 1991
Under the provision of the 1991 Regulations, the Pupils' Registration Regulations
1956 have been amended so that:
The existing duty on school to take an attendance register at the beginning of
each morning and afternoon session is made more specific, through a
requirement that attendance registers show whether, in the case of pupils of
compulsory school age, an absence is authorised or unauthorised.
Schools are permitted to computerise their attendance and admission
registers subject to satisfactory safeguards to protect the integrity of the
From 1st August 1992, maintained schools' prospectuses and annual reports
must include specified information on notes of unauthorised absence.
We at St. David's Nursery and Primary School feel that the social climate of the
school is critical in creating a suitable environment for learning. We aim to create
a warm, welcoming and secure atmosphere where children will feel valued and to
provide a stimulating and accessible curriculum suitably differentiated to cater for
children with Special Educational Needs.
At St. David's Primary School we feel that attendance is the responsibility of all
staff, parents, pupils and governors.
To help promote regular attendance we will endeavour to work closely with the
Education Welfare Officer.
On the first day of any staff absence, the date is recorded and a self- certificate
form is to be filled in on return, if the absence is for 3 days or more then a doctor's
certificate note is to be brought in.
Monthly returns of sickness and absences are sent to Education Personnel and
Payroll Department. Separate records are kept for all absences in the school office.
It is important that registers are marked at the start of the morning and afternoon
sessions. Consistency of registration practice is vital amongst all the teachers.
Registers must show the names, dates of birth and address of all pupils in the
group. Parents’ names if different should be recorded along with telephone
numbers. Although Welsh Assembly guidance has been considered, St. David's
School has established a system to mark registers that requires the minimum of
symbols, but clearly identifies the category of absence. These are found fully
Staff will need to decide whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised. Briefly
an absence will be authorised if an initial telephone call is received from the
parent/guardian on the first day of absence or on return to school. Clearly the
reason for absence even if reported as above must be for a valid reason.
Authorised absences include
Public performances and employment
Days set aside for religious observance
Special occasions(in limited circumstances)
Absences when traveller children are attending another school at which they
Absences for young carers
Exclusion from school
Medical/dental appointments and illness
Any absence for which a satisfactory reason has not been given
Late arrivals for registration
The school secretary will ensure that a supply of forms are kept by the phone, to
be filled in when a phone call is received and given to the appropriate teacher,
which will inform them of a call concerning absence. When registers are to be
completed at the end of each week, the teacher should check with the school
secretary and/or the head teacher before unauthorised absences are included in
When notes explaining absences are received they should be dated and initialled by
the registration teacher. They should be retained for at least 6 months after the
absence to which they refer.
It will be the duty of the secretary or head teacher to complete a summary register
each week, term and school year. These figures will be passed on to the E.W.O.
and L.E.A. The head teacher will be responsible for analysing and evaluating
attendance figures and their impact on the education provided for the individual
and school in general. For further guidance please refer to:
Welsh Office Circular 3/99
A Guidance to Schools on Promoting Good Attendance – Torfaen County
Borough Council – April 2000.
Here Today, Here Tomorrow – Helpings Schools to Promote Good
Attendance – Susan Hallam and Caroline Roaf.
Any queries regarding authorised or unauthorised absences should be referred to
either the Head teacher or Deputy Head teacher where appropriate.
Where following the absence of a pupil a note or telephone message has not been
received, then the parents will be sent a letter, which will require an explanation
for the absence.
Absence- initial contact
School will phone on first morning of absence, if no phone call is received from
parents, in the interest of child safety.
Process for reporting continuous absences
When an unexplained absence occurs parents will be contacted in the first instance
in Stage 1. In the case of the pupil being absent for 50% of the time over a period
of 2 weeks and no message has been received Stage 2 will apply. In the case of
continuous absences of two weeks or more, or when a pupil fails to attend school
regularly and parents have already been consulted at Stage 2, Stage 3 will then
apply, and the matter will be reported to the EWO. As a representative of the
LEA, Katherine Edwards, visits each month and will be notified accordingly of
any absences that require investigation through the "Cause for Concern" meeting.
The EWO is also informed of persistent late comers and pupils picked up late at
It is recognised at St. David's that, through their home visiting, EWO's are well
placed to assess a non-attendees problems in the wider family context.
We also acknowledge that an early and firm approach to parents may bring a
prompt and sustained improvement.