St Matthew’s C of E Primary School believe that If children are to get the greatest benefit from their education in school it is important that they have good attendance and arrive punctually. Regular school attendance is the key to enabling children to maximise the educational opportunities available to them and become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults who are able to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community. St Matthew’s C of E Primary School values all pupils. As set out in our policy, where children are not conforming to our high expectations for attendance and punctuality, we will work with families to identify the reasons and try to resolve any difficulties.

You have the right to a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.

Article 28, The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

St Matthew’s C of E Primary School recognises that attendance is a matter for the whole school community. Our Attendance Policy should not be viewed in isolation; it is a strand that runs through all aspects of school improvement, supported by our policies on Safeguarding, Anti-Bullying Agreement, Behaviour and SEND. This policy also takes into account the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equalities Act 2010.

What is good attendance?

Our attendance target is 97% because we want all of our students to achieve their full potential. We want every student to attend St Matthew’s to let their light shine.

There is sometimes a perception that an attendance rate of 90% is good. However, as an attendance rate, 90% is unsatisfactory, it equates to missing 19 days per year. We consider below 95% as approaching persistent absence and aim work with families to prevent further loss of education.

What role do parents and carers play?

The Parents/Carers of our students are asked to support the school and instil the value of education and regular attendance by:

  • Talking to their child about school life and taking a positive interest in their child’s educational progress.
  • Contacting the school if their child is absent to let us know the reason why and the expected date of return.
  • Avoiding unnecessary absences – wherever possible making medical appointments outside of school hours and providing medical appointment cards
  • Asking the school for help if their child is experiencing difficulties and informing the school of any circumstances that may impact on their child’s attendance.
  • Ensuring their child attends punctually everyday
  • Engaging with intervention strategies provided by the school if their child’s attendance becomes highlighted as a cause for concern
  • Supporting the school; taking every opportunity to get involved in their child’s education, forming a positive relationship with school and acknowledging the importance of children receiving the same messages from both school and home
  • Encouraging routine at home, for example, bed times, homework, preparing school bag and uniform the evening before
  • Not keeping their child off school to go shopping, to help at home or to look after other members of the family
  • Avoiding taking their child on holiday during term-time; where this may be an exceptional circumstance, a written leave request must be sent to the Head Teacher in advance of booking the holiday