St Helen's CE Primary School

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St Helen's CE Primary School, Highfield Road, Hemsworth, WF9 4EG

01977 617955

St Helen's CE Primary School

Looking forward in Faith

  1. Parents/Carers
  2. Attendance


Attendance and Absence Policy

Why Attendance Matters

It is the legal duty of parents to ensure that their child receives full time education. Good attendance is vital to a child’s progress and achievement. Common sense tells us that absence and lateness to lessons disrupt the continuity of learning and therefore affect progress and, ultimately, success. As a result of the direct correlation between attendance and achievement, it is vital that students achieve full attendance. 

It is also important to note that short periods of regular absence can be just as damaging to learning as long term absence. 

St Helen's sees the maintenance of good attendance as a three-way contract between school, parents and students, with clear expectations of us all.

What the School Expects of Students

  • That they will attend regularly
  • That they will arrive on time and appropriately prepared for the day

What the School Expects of Parents

  • That they will fulfil their responsibility by ensuring that their child attends school
  • That they will contact the school on the first day when their child is unable to attend and that their child returns to school with an absence note
  • That they will aim to ensure that their child arrives on time and well prepared for the school day
  • That they will contact school in confidence whenever any problems occur that may keep their child away from school
  • That they will inform the school of any forthcoming appointments and ensure the continuity of their child’s education by arranging appointments outside the school day wherever possible. 

Leave of Absence

All leave of absence requests should be submitted to the Headteacher at least two weeks before the anticipated start date using the form below. Applications cannot be granted retrospectively. 

Holidays in Term Time

Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence for holidays during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances; in these cases it is the Headteacher who determines the number of days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted. 


What Parents and Students can Expect of the School

  • A broad and balanced education which, in itself, is dependent upon regular attendance
  • Immediate contact with parents when a student fails to attend school without parents informing school of the reason for absence or at any time we feel that attendance is of cause for concern
  • Prompt action on any problem notified to us
  • Close liaison with the Education Welfare Service to assist and support parents and students where needed.

Authorising Absence

In order for the school to authorise an absence we need to receive information from parents explaining clearly the reason for absence. It is vital, therefore, that parents contact school every time students are absent from school for any reason. Parents are asked to contact the school on the first day of absence in person or by telephone. If no explanation for absence is received the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.  If a student is persistently absent from school, a request for medical evidence will be made to parents.


Staff to Contact - Complaints or Concerns

When telephoning school to explain a student’s absence, please dial 01977 617955 choose Option 3. If you wish to discuss your child’s attendance, please contact Mrs Day or Mr Swift.  We are always here to support!


Our Main Strategies for Attendance


We know that children with the highest attendance do better in school than children who have lower attendance. If they miss school, they miss chances to succeed!

First Day Response

As part of our attendance policy, If we don't know why a child is not in school we will call home the first morning they are absent.


Children earn rewards individually for good attendance over the year, they also are rewarded weekly as a class and half termly too!  Please see our Rewards Strategy for this year!


Term Time Fines

If you take your child out of school for 5 days or more, we will issue a fixed penalty notice of £60 per child, per parent.


Home Visits

If your child is unwell and off school for more than two days, we may pay you a home visit. This is part of our safeguarding procedures.


Education Welfare

We meet regularly with the EW officers from the council to discuss any children will lower than 90% attendance. If the attendance of your child doesn't improve, it may result in a fixed penalty notice (fine).