St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School recognises the clear link between the attendance and achievement of pupils. Our aim is to encourage the highest possible levels of attendance and punctuality for pupils within St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School to support learning and development.

The importance of attendance and punctuality is underpinned by an awareness of safeguarding issues. It is important to see our children every day and provide an educationally safe and secure environment.

To gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that all pupils attend regularly and on time. Pupils should aim to attend every day that the school is open. We set a target for all pupils to aim for 100% attendance with the expectation all pupils achieve at least 97%. As a school we define regular attendance as 97% or above.

View our Attendance Policy on our Policies page

St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School believes Teachers, Parents, Carers, Pupils and all members of the school community have an important contribution in improving attendance and punctuality ensuring pupils attend to achieve.

Any absence affects education and regular absence will seriously affect pupils’ learning. Pupils who have time off often:

  • Find it difficult to catch up and do well
  • Find it harder to make and maintain friendships
  • Tend to be less happy whilst in school

90% attendance is equivalent to a pupil missing one half day per week or approximately 118 lessons per year.

Ensure your child arrives for school on time.

  • Telephone school if your child is to be late.
  • For routine non-emergency medical and dental appointments please ensure they are made outside of school hours.
  • Contact school preferably by 9.30 am on the first day of absence if your child is unable to attend through illness, giving an indication of the expected duration and return date to school.
  • If a text message/phone call is received as a result of your child’s absence it is important that you respond to this text to ensure your child is appropriately safeguarded.
  • Contact the School Office and request to speak to a member of staff privately if the reason for absence requires a more personal contact.
  • In case of emergency we need up to date contact numbers at all times so please ensure you inform us of any changes especially to mobile telephone numbers. (As a school we request a minimum of two emergency contact details be provided)
  • Requests for exceptional circumstances leave of absence must be in writing to the Headteacher and can only be authorised by the Headteacher. Reasons such as a close family bereavement or taking part in a significant religious event would be acceptable for short absences. Unacceptable reasons for missing school, include general holidays, weddings, shopping, concerts and birthdays.

If a pupil is absent we will:

  • Telephone and text the parent/carer on the first day of absence if we have not heard from them by 10 am.
  • If no response is received and the absence is unauthorised a member of school staff will conduct a home visit as directed by head teacher. If there are safeguarding concerns contact will be made with the family as soon as possible.
  • If a pupil’s absences are increasing and we are not aware of a good reason the parent/carer will be invited to meet the Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher or Pastoral Care Lead.
  • If absences persist the attendance team will discuss actions with the Education Welfare Officer.


Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If a pupil misses the start of the day they can miss work and late arriving pupils disrupt lessons, it can be embarrassing for the pupil arriving late and can encourage future absence.

The school day starts and registers are taken at 8.50am by the class teacher and pupils receive a late mark if they are not in their class by that time. School recommends that pupils arrive by 8.45am.

  • If a pupil arrives late to school parents/carers will receive a text message/telephone call to inform them of their child’s late arrival.
  • Late arrival to school following the close of registers is classified as an absence. If a pupil is persistently late after the official close of the register, the school may request the local authority issue a Penalty Notice.

If a Parent/Carer has any problem getting their child to attend school on time they should contact the School Office who will offer support to resolve the problem.

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