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Attendance and Absence

Every child of compulsory school age is entitled to an efficient, full-time education suitable to their age, aptitude and any special educational need they may have. It is the legal responsibility of every parent to make sure their child receives that education by either attendance at a school or by education otherwise than at a school.

For parents who have registered pupils at SS Simon and Jude CE Primary School, they have an additional legal duty to ensure their child attends this school regularly. As detailed in the letter from Bernie Brown, Director of Children’s Services, Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996 states “If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence. Although there may be varying interpretations of what constitutes regular attendance, in 2017, in the case of The Isle of White v Jon Platt, the Supreme Court determined that regular attendance means ‘in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school’. As such if a child fails to attend on a day the school requires them to without approval from the Headteacher, this may constitute an offence.” A copy of this letter can be found in the links below.

SS Simon and Jude CE Primary School details term dates on a yearly basis. School expects pupils to be in school every day as detailed within the term dates calendar. School is open for pupils 190 days out of 365 days during the year. We appreciate that there has been widespread disruption to pupils’ attendance over the last couple of years due to the pandemic, however rules relating to school attendance resumed in September 2021. Linked to this school has updated the attendance and absence policy which can be found in the links below. This has been updated in line with the new Department for Education guidance ‘Working Together to improve school attendance’ and ‘Summary table of responsibilities’

SS Simon and Jude CE Primary School believes that in order to facilitate teaching and learning, good attendance is essential. Pupils cannot achieve their full potential if they do not regularly attend school.

We understand that barriers to attendance are complex, and that some pupils find it harder than others to attend school; therefore, we will continue to prioritise cultivating a safe and supportive environment at school, as well as strong and trusting relationships with pupils and parents.

We take a whole-school approach to securing good attendance, and recognise the impact that our efforts in other areas – such as the curriculum, behaviour standards, bullying, SEND support, pastoral support, and the effective use of resources such as pupil premium – can have on improving pupil attendance.

We are committed to:

  • promoting and modelling high attendance and its benefits.
  • ensuring equality and fairness for all.
  • ensuring this attendance policy is clear and easily understood by staff, pupils and parents.
  • intervening early and working with other agencies to ensure the health and safety of our pupils.
  • building strong relationships with families to overcome barriers to attendance.
  • working collaboratively with other schools in the area, as well as other agencies.
  • ensuring parents follow the framework set in section 7 of the Education Act 1996, which states that the parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause them to receive efficient full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and to any SEND they may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
  • regularly monitoring and analysing attendance and absence data to identify pupils or cohorts that require more support.

The school’s Senior Leader responsible for the strategic approach to attendance in school is Miss Katie Jones (Principal). The attendance officer who focuses on the day to day absence is Mrs Paula Coleman. Both Miss Katie Jones and Mrs Paula Coleman can be contacted via email:

Staff, parents and pupils will be expected to contact the principal and/or the attendance officer via email for queries or concerns about attendance.

School works closely with pupils to talk about attendance and punctuality through learning review meetings. This is also shared with parents during parent conference evenings.  Below is a section of a learning review meeting in action which showcases how we promote positive behaviour for learning. We also report attendance on newsletters as well as being displayed around school in order to show pupils the importance of attendance at school.