St Columba's RC Primary School

We are Companions on a Journey

Ripley Street, Bolton, Lancashire BL2 3AR

0120 4333421


                                attendance hero website image – St Agnes C.E. Primary School                       Queen Mary Avenue Infant and Nursery School - Attendance Heroes

 At St Columba’s we know the impact regular attendance has on your child’s learning and well-being; and that having good attendance is directly linked to raising achievement and develops skills for life and work. We have many initiatives to celebrate and support attendance in school and ask that parents/careers support the school in this by ensuring that your child attends school every day and arrives ready to learn and on time for when the doors open at 8:45am

Throughout school, we ask our children to be an Attendance H.E.R.O. (Here Every day Ready On time) and help us achieve our school Attendance Target of 96% 

Our Attendance Promises:

We encourage all children to keep our 3 Attendance Promises: 

  1. I will try my best to come to school every day.
  2. I will try my best to arrive on time every day.
  3. I will try my best to be prepared for school every day. 

Attendance Matters:

Primary national pupil attendance is around 96%. This means that a child needs to attend school for at least 182 out of 190 days to meet national expectations.

  Be an Attendance H.E.R.O.                         PATCH Tag - Attendance Hero! |

Promoting and celebrating good attendance:

At St Columba's we understand the impact good attendance and punctuality has on our children’s learning and we believe in rewarding good attendance and punctuality to engage and motivate our children. We have many initiatives to support and celebrate attendance and punctuality so that it remains a high profile in school and with our families.

Some of the ways we promote and celebrate good attendance and punctuality:

  • We have a weekly celebration assembly to award the class with the best attendance a trophy and certificate.
  • Any class who receives 100% attendance play are invited to play Classopoly and roll the dice in assembly to claim their prize.
  • All classroom doors have an Attendance poster which is updated weekly with the class’ attendance.
  • Each key stage phase has a thematic attendance board to record individual classes’ weekly attendance percentage. Mrs Baker holds a whole school assembly each half term to celebrate which class has the best attendance for the half term.
  • At the end of the year, the class with the best attendance for the year wins a class prize. 

Understanding types of absence:

Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason such as illness, medical appointments and emergencies.

An absence is classified as Unauthorised, if the reason is not recognised as acceptable. The Department for Education (DfE) and Local Education Authorities provide information for schools as what is acceptable and what is not. Families with regular unauthorised absence will be monitored by a Cluster Attendance Officer.

Examples of reasons that would not be accepted:

  • A birthday.
  • A shopping trip/Day trips.
  • Brother or sister is ill so all children in the family stay off school.
  • Not having uniform ready to wear or can’t find shoes/coat etc
  • Holidays – unless have been agreed as exceptional circumstances (see Exceptional Leave Tab for further information).

 Let school know if your child is going to be absent:

If your child has a medical appointment or is considered too ill to attend school due to a minor illness you must:  

Contact the School Office (01204 333421) between 8.15 am and no later than 9:30 am, informing them of the reason for your child’s absence and how long you expect them to be absent.

Every ½ day absence from school, by law, has to be classified as either authorised or unauthorised. This is why information about the cause of absence is always asked for. We will also ask for proof of medical appointments i.e. medical appointment card, medical note from the doctor or proof of prescription.

If you are unsure whether to keep your child off school, please talk to the School Office  for advice. Or you can visit the NHS Website: 

Exceptional Leave:

The 2013 amendments made it clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term-time unless ‘exceptional circumstances’ prevail. The regulations also state that head teachers should determine the number of school days a pupil can be away from school in the event that leave is granted for ‘exceptional circumstances’.

If you require Exceptional Leave:

Please visit the School Office to collect an Exceptional Leave Request/Holiday Request Form  form which must be completed in full.  Please DO NOT book flight tickets/arrange travel until Mrs Baker has reviewed your Exceptional Leave form.

Should your Exceptional Leave request be unauthorised and you still decide to go, you ,may be invited to meet with Mrs Baker and another member of the Attendance Team to discuss this further. We will ask that you bring proof of travel, medical information etc. Unauthorised Exceptional Leave could result in a Fixed Penalty Fine.

Guidelines for Exceptional Leave:           

 • The decision to authorise a pupil’s absence is wholly at the head teacher’s discretion based on the pupil’s attendance, attainment and merits of each request.                                                                                                         

• It is acceptable to take a pupil’s record of attendance into account when making absence related decisions.

• It is important to note that the head teachers can determine the length of the authorised absence as well as as whether a particular absence can be authorised.

• If an event or leave can be reasonably scheduled outside of term-time then it would be not normal to authorise absence for such an event – holidays are therefore not considered as ‘exceptional circumstances’.

• Absence to visit seriously-ill relatives or for a bereavement of close family member are usually considered to amount to ‘exceptional circumstances’, but for the funeral service only, not for extended leave.

• Absences for important religious observances are often taken into account but only for the ceremony and travelling time, again, not for extended leave. This is intended for one-off situation rather than regular or recurring events.