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St Jude's School and Pre-School

Achieving together in God's love.



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Regular attendance and punctuality are vital to learning and it is expected that all children arrive on time and achieve an attendance percentage of 97% or above. 


What time can children arrive on site? 

Gates to the playground open at 8.30 am. Parents wishing to drop their children off earlier than 8.30 am should make use of our Breakfast Club facility which is open from 7.30 am. 


What time does school start? 

Classrooms are open from 8.30 am and school gates close at 8.40 am. All children should be present in class ready for morning registration at 8.40 am. Afternoon classes begin at 1.00 pm and the register is taken again. 


What happens if my child is late for school? 

Children arriving after the gates have shut at 8.40 am should enter the school through the Main Reception to be signed in by the office staff and order their lunch. Children arriving between 8.40 am and 8.50 am will receive a late mark in the register and the number of minutes late will be recorded. 


If a child arrives after 8.50 am, this will be recorded as 'U' (unauthorised but on school site) in the register. 


The school office will monitor lateness on a fortnightly basis. Parents of pupils arriving late more than four times in a fortnight will be contacted by the ELSA and invited to a meeting to address their persistent lateness. 


If your child has more  than 10 unauthorised marks in a 100 session period, a Penalty Notice may be issued (further information below. 


What if my child is ill? 

If your child is ill, then we ask that you ring the school office and leave a message on the answerphone or speak to the office staff before 8.40 am. Please ensure that you tell us exactly how your child is ill, 'unwell' is not a sufficient reason. When a child is ill, the absence will be recorded as an authorised absence. 


Failure to inform us by 8.40 am on the first day of absence will result in the absence being recorded as unauthorised. 


What if I need to take my child to a medical appointment in the school day? 


Where possible, we would appreciate it if appointments are made outside of the school day. However, we do understand that this cannot always be achieved. We ask where possible that your child attends school for as much of the day as they can; or if an early appointment, that they return to us as soon as possible. It is not reasonable to take a whole day off for an appointment. Please provide evidence of the medical appointment, such as an appointment card or text confirmation, so that the absence can be authorised. If you do not have an appointment card, the school office will provide a form to be taken to the doctor for stamping to confirm attendance.

Medical appointments are classed as an absence but will be an authorised absence, where evidence of an appointment can be provided.  


Can I take my child away during term time for a family holiday?


Any leave of absence from school must be formally requested using the 'absence request form'. A leave of absence will only be granted in the most exceptional of circumstances: 

  • Death or serious illness of a close family member (mother, father, sibling or grandparent) 
  • Moving to a new area and planning for a change of school 
  • Parent returning home from a forces deployment (1 day's leave only will be authorised) 


All of the above circumstances will be dependent on the individual child's attendance being above 97%. 


Please note if the absence is not authorised by the Headteacher and  you take your child out of school anyway, then this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and if 10 sessions (5 days) or more are taken a Penalty Notice will be issued. 


How do I know what my child's attendance is? 


We will write to you each half term and let you know what your child's current attendance percentage is. 


Green = 100%-97% GOOD ATTENDANCE 

Amber = 96.9%-95% IMPROVEMENT NEEDED 

Red = 94.9%-90.1% CAUSE FOR CONCERN



If your child has 100% attendance they will receive a mention in the half termly newsletter. If your child's attendance gives cause for concern, you will be invited to attend a meeting with the Headteacher or ELSA to discuss the issue and put in place an improvement strategy. This will be reviewed with you on a regular basis until it is no longer needed. 


How does my child's attendance compare to attendance rates nationally? 

attendance data is shared with the Department of Education. In January 2024 the National attendance in primary school was 93.2%. St Jude's attendance for the same period was 95.9%.