Supporting Attendance at St Nicholas Catholic Primary School          

At St Nicholas, we have high expectations for attendance and punctuality.


Facts about poor attendance

Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school. The Education (School Day and School Year) (England) Regulations 1999 require all maintained schools to open to educate their pupils for at least 190 days (380 sessions) in each school year.


Table 1 puts absence in the context of the days children miss at school based on a school being opened for 190 days per year

Number of days absent

Equals attendance one school year

9.5 days


19 days


28.5 days


38 days


47.5 days


57 days


66.5 days



Table 2 puts absence in the context of the days children miss at school over a six week period.

Number of days absent

Attendance over past 6 weeks

2 days


3 days


5 days


8 days


10 days


15 days



Communication with parents

Regular communication with parents is crucial in raising the profile of school attendance and punctuality. The following methods are used at St Nicholas:

Notice boards

  • Newsletters
  • Letters home
  • Texting
  • Email
  • School website
  • Telephone calls
  • Face: to face discussions and meetings


Reward systems:

Rewards are used by schools as an incentive to improve attendance and punctuality. We use class and whole school initiatives, such as weekly attendance cup, ‘golden tickets’ for extra play time, juice and biscuits. The attendance of those children with 100 per cent attendance is celebrated in assemblies at the end of each term and year. The class with the best attendance each term arranges a reward they all will enjoy such as watching a film.


The Attendance ‘Bank/Shop’ :

A new initiative to encourage good attendance and punctuality. The idea is that the children ‘earn money’ as rewards for excellent attendance, punctuality and other things in school. The children collect ‘money’ and ‘bank’ it in the bank. Their ‘savings’ are carefully recorded and when they have enough ‘savings’ they can spend these in the ‘shop’ which has a wide variety of items available for the children to purchase.


Lateness initiative:

Red/yellow card

We are trialing using a red/yellow card system as an initiative to improve punctuality. Every late pupil is given coloured card depending on the time of their arrival at school.

 If a child has more than three red cards in a term, their parent is invited to a meeting.


Attendance contracts:

When attendance becomes a serious concern, Individual attendance contracts are used as a tool to improve attendance. The contracts are agreed between pupil/ parents/school staff to agree actions and set targets to improve a pupil’s attendance. 


As a school we collate attendance data on a weekly basis, all children are then put into the ‘traffic light’ colours above. Regular attendance at school is an important factor in ensuring that children benefit from their education. The table above indicates some of the strategies that as a school we carry out to ensure all children have good attendance. It is crucial that you keep school informed of any issues that you may have that are having a negative impact on your child’s attendance, contact the school office to discuss or to arrange a meeting with the relevant member of staff.

See school attendance policy for further details. Our school attendance officer is Mrs Fox.



If your child is going to be absent for any reason, it is vital that you inform us on their first day of absence in one of the following ways:

 This needs to be done on each day of your child's absence.

In addition, on your child's return to school, please send a note explaining to your child's class teacher why they were absent.

School will require copies of unavoidable hospital or doctors appointments.


 Exceptional Leave

If your child is due to be absent during school time due to unavoidable circumstances, then please fill in the form attached and pass it back to the school office for Mrs Burns to review. Not all forms filled in are guaranteed to be authorised, unless for special circumstances.

Exceptional Leave Request Form