The Importance Of Attendance

Attendance in school is extremely important.

The following information is provided to help parents understand what attendance figures mean, why we feel children’s attendance is so important and what we continually do in order to improve the attendance.

Our Attendance Target

St Luke’s attendance target for the academic year 2020/21 is 97%

Attendance figures explained

Attendance is based on a child being at school in time for the morning register as well as the afternoon register so being marked present for 2 sessions a day.

Both these sessions count towards their overall attendance figure which is simply a percentage of how many sessions your child has been present throughout the current academic year.

The only reasons a child will be marked as present when they are not in school are if they are being educated at a different location, or at a school event such as residential or sporting.

There are a variety of different reasons that a child may be absent from school and the school will assign an appropriate code on the register to make staff aware of the reason

Authorised Absence

Absence from school can be authorised for the following reasons:

  • Medical appointments
  • Illness where the school has been notified by phone or in writing
  • Religious observance

NOTE: An authorised absence is still recorded as the child not being in school and will have a negative effect on their attendance figure.

​Absence from school will be unauthorised in all other circumstances unless deemed to be ‘exceptional’ by the Headteacher. This does not apply to term-time holidays, which will always be unauthorised.

Please see the information below, from the Local Authority, regarding unauthorised term time leave.


Any parent who takes a child out of school for term time leave of more than 6 consecutive sessions over a 4 week period, not authorised by the school (under exceptional circumstances rule), may receive a Penalty Notice. Such cases will have to be supported by evidence of previous unauthorised term time leave (more than 6 consecutive sessions over a 4 week period) taken in the last 3 years and evidence of parents being warned about a potential Penalty Notice.

Click here to download the school policy on attendance.

Why we feel a child’s attendance is so important

Children’s learning in school is based on a build up of skills and knowledge.

This build up is continually planned by teachers on a day to day basis. Children that miss one session could miss out on a potentially important session and although every effort is made to catch children up when they return, this is usually not as effective and takes time away from the rest of the class.

If children miss out on a number of sessions this can significantly affect their overall progress.

Children that are away from school on a regular basis can miss out on opportunities to build strong friendships and can sometimes find it harder to build strong friendships within school

What we do to help improve children’s attendance

We have a range of strategies in place that are aimed at improving attendance:

  • A weekly attendance award (whole class).
  • Termly and annual attendance certificates.
  • We work with individual families supporting them where attendance is an issue, offering for example support from our Family Support Worker.
  • The attendance of every pupil is monitored on a monthly basis and we liaise closely with the Education Welfare Officer (EWO), involving them when attendance falls below acceptable levels.

Consequences to the school of poor overall attendance figures

As a school the effect of poor attendance is primarily seen with children not making expected progress throughout a year and not reaching their full potential.