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Attendance, Punctuality and Term Time Holidays

Our attendance at St. Andrew’s is very good but one of the government’s requirements of headteachers is that we a monitor it closely. I do this with the office staff and with the Education Welfare Officer from the Local Authority. I think that we would all agree that good attendance is not only a good habit to get into for the future but good attendance at school results in better attainment for children. One of the triggers we use for attendance concerns is when a child falls below 95% attendance. 

This is a lot of missed and lost learning. It is very difficult for teachers to catch this amount of work up. We incentivise good attendance for our children with certificates at the end of the year and the class with the best class attendance over the half term is announced in assembly and they get a reward.

My view on attendance is that I prefer to act early to prevent a child’s attendance dropping below 90% rather than reacting when it does. In this way, you may, from time to time, receive a reminder letter from me about this, to encourage you to keep your eye on it. Obviously, there are often genuine reasons why a child’s attendance drops below 90% and these are taken into account.

Please help your child to achieve the best they can by ensuring the best attendance you can. If you are in any doubt about sending your child in with a little cold or sniffle, send them in, we will always ring you if they deteriorate.

Our Attendance Policy can be found here

Lateness / Absence procedures

Regular and prompt attendance allows every child access to the education to which they are entitled by law. St Andrew's values good attendance and punctuality because this equates to high standards.


School Absences* NEW* School Absence Telephone Number – 0161 921 1710. Can we please ask that should your child be absent from school you ring the school absence line before 9.00am to notify school of their absence. Please do not e-mail school with this information. Any absences reported after 9.00am may be unauthorised.


All children should arrive at school by 8.55am (9am for Nursery). Anyone arriving after this time will be marked as late. Arrival after 9.25am, when registers have closed, will be marked as an unauthorised absence.


Please note that medical appointments are still absences and can affect your child's learning if taken during school hours. Every effort should be made to arrange appointments outside of school hours. If this is not possible, children should attend school before and after their appointment. Appointment letters / texts should be shown at the school office when informing school about an appointment.

Attendance-Every minute counts

Frequent absence can add up to a considerable amount of lost learning and can seriously disadvantage your child in later adult life.

  • 5 minutes late every day means around 3 ½ days of education are missed
  • a score of 90% in a test would be a good result but 90% attendance means that a child will have missed around 100 lessons over a school year. 

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


9 days

2 weeks

50 lessons


19 days

4 weeks

100 lessons


29 days

6 weeks

150 lessons

80%38 days8 weeks200 lessons

Persistent Absence

Persistent absence refers to children/young people who have 10% or more absence from school. This refers to all absence including, medical appointments, illness, religious observation and holidays in term time. Therefore any child who has more than 10% absence would be classified as a persistent absentee and questions will be asked as to the reasons for the absence. This does not mean that parents/carers will automatically be at risk of prosecution. However questions will be asked as to whether there are interventions that could be put into place that would result in the reduction of days lost to absence.


How is persistent absence calculated?

One day absence from school equals two sessions. Therefore every day lost counts as two absences.

Therefore, two weeks illness and a further two weeks absence for holiday could mean that your child will hit the 10% threshold or more absences and will be classified as a persistent absentee.


What will happen if the 10% threshold is hit?

During routine visits to school the Education Welfare Officer will discuss all children who have 10% absence or more or those who are at risk of becoming persistent absentees. They will ask for details as to the reason given for the absence. Where there are genuine reasons, no further action will be taken. However, if it is felt that additional support is needed they could ask the school to speak directly to the parent or speak to them directly themselves should they feel there are opportunities to improve the level of attendance.


What can you do about it?

Ensure your child is in school as much as possible. All children do get ill but if they are off on Monday but better by Wednesday they should return to school rather than have the whole week off. If your child is ill in school they will contact you.

Try to make medical and dental appointments at the end of the school day. This will not count as an absence.

Avoid holidays in term time. They should only be taken in exceptional circumstances and even then only if the school authorise the absence. Take holidays in the days that school is closed. Please do not let your child miss out on their education especially following the disruption during COVID.


Holidays in Term Time

Since 1st September 2013 new guidance issued by the Department for Education has applied to all absences during term time. An absence during term time, including family holidays, is not a right.


Any absence from school disrupts a child's learning. In addition, children returning from a term-time absence generally require additional time from teachers to catch up on the teaching they have missed. This can have an impact on the education of other pupils in their class.


Therefore, the Department for Education only allows Headteacher's discretion to authorise an absence if they believe there are exceptional circumstances.


If a parent wants to request an absence (not including medical appointments) for their child during term-time, they should write to the Headteacher to ask for permission either by email or by letter handed in to the school office.


The Holidays in Term Time policy can be found here

Please view Penalty Notice leaflet issued by Salford City Council in respect of penalties incurred when taking children out of school for holidays.

Is my child too ill for school? Click here