St Francis CofE Primary School

Attendance & Holiday Requests

Attendance Policy Confirmation                             September 2016

St Francis School has been officially notified that the Law regarding absences from school during term-time has not changed as a result of the legal case in the Isle of Wight, and it remains an offence to keep a child off school.

As previously, unauthorised absences may be referred to the Local Authority and Penalty Notices issued, followed by prosecution should the fine be unpaid.  As a matter of course, recurring absences are required to be referred.

Parents and carers are reminded that a written or e-mailed application for a planned absence must be submitted to the office in advance.  In addition, medical or extra-curricular activities such as music exams or auditions should be supported by copies of appointment letters or medical notes.



Clarification of Attendance and Absence Procedures (Attendance policy - Appendix 4)

This is how attendance at St Francis is monitored and followed up:


  • In the event of illness or absence due to medical reasons, a telephone call from the family is required each day of the absence by 9:30am.  Should a call not be received, the office will attempt to establish contact to find out why the child is not in school.
  • If contact cannot be made, legally the child is ‘missing’ and should be reported to Social Services immediately.
  • Once the child returns to school, a written and signed note or e-mail explaining the reason for the absence is required.  This is necessary as it provides school with a parental or carers signature endorsing the reason for the child having been kept off.  The reasons ‘ill’, ‘unwell’ or ‘poorly’ are not sufficient.  If a child is sent home by school, a note is not necessary as the decision for the child to be out of school has been made by staff. 
  • Medical appointments should be arranged outside of school time whenever possible, and supported by an appointment letter or card.  The parent/carer is required to sign the child in/out of school on a sheet in the office.  Children should be in school prior to and following such appointments where time allows.
  • Should a written note or e-mail not be provided, a reminder will be sent home via the child’s book-bag each week requesting an explanation of the absence.  Should a month pass without a response, a letter will be sent informing parents/carers that the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
  • Occasionally, notes may go missing from bags or cross over with reminders being sent out so duplication may unintentionally occur.



  • Should a situation arise when a family requests time off during term-time for other reasons, please send an email to giving details of child's name, class, dates and reasons.
  • Any holidays during term-time will be referred to the Local Authority once taken, unless they fall under the limited definition of ‘special circumstances’.  Parents/carers are able to provide written reasons as to why the absence is necessary during school time on the form and in the event of a referral, this information will be forwarded to the Local Authority as ‘evidence’.  It is the Local Authority’s decision whether or not to impose a fine and the school receives no funds.


  • Other instances such as dance or music exams, auditions and religious or compassionate circumstances should also be noted on this form and sent in to the office in advance of the absence.  The form will be returned to indicate how the absence will be recorded.






Lateness is logged for each child.  A child arriving late should enter school via the front office and the parent/carer must sign he/she in.  This means children should not be dropped off to come into school on their own.  Lateness is recorded as ‘L’ after 9am, and ‘U’ after 9:25am.  The total ‘minutes late’ is also recorded.  Over ten ‘U’s in an academic term can be referred to the Local Authority and is treated like an unauthorised absence, and therefore can be subject to a fine.