St Columba C.of E.

Primary School

Changing Lives, Building Futures



Regular attendance and punctuality are vital for good progress and we expect all children to be on time each day and have attendance above 96.4%.


What time does school start?

Registration takes place between 8.45 a.m - 8.50 a.m. in the morning. We expect our children to be punctual. Teachers aim for the register to be called quickly, so that learning can commence.  Parents are requested to help us achieve this, so that valuable learning time is not wasted by latecomers.

In the afternoon, learning commences again at 12.50 p.m. and the register is taken again.


What time can children arrive on the site?

The school gates open and children may come onto the playgrounds from 8.20 a.m. onwards. A  member of staff is on duty each morning in the KS2 playground and parents are expected to stay with their children in the KS1 and YR playground until the doors open at approximately 8:35 a.m. At this time the children can change their books, respond to marking and begin the day's learning.


On the EYFS playground we ask the parents to supervise their children, until the doors are open at 8.35 a.m. Parents are then invited into class to settle their children, help them select their lunch and change their reading books.


What happens if my child is late for school?

Children arriving after 8.45 a.m. should be brought to the School office to be signed in.

If they arrive between 8.46 a.m. and 9 a.m. they will receive a late mark in the register.

If a child arrives after 9 a.m. then this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.

Where there is a pattern of lateness, parents will be contacted by the Home School Link Worker, (Mrs Martin), or the Deputy head (Mr Parkes) and invited to a meeting to address it.


If your child has 10 unauthorised marks in a 100 sessions, a Penalty Notice may be issued. (See below for further information).

Children who are always punctual in a term will be entered into a class draw where the winner receives a gift voucher.


What if my child is ill? 

If your child is ill, then we ask that you ring the Academy Office and leave a message on the answerphone or speak to the Office Staff before 9 a.m.  You can also email the school office on before 9 a.m.

Please ensure you tell us exactly what illness your child has, ‘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 9 a.m. on the first day of absence will result in the absence being recorded as unauthorised.


What if I need to take my child to 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 morning appointment that they return to us as soon as possible.  It is not reasonable to take a whole day off for an appointment. We do need to see the appointment letter or text, so we are able to authorise it.

This is still recorded as an absence but will be an authorised absence. 


If you are detained during a medical appointment due to unforeseen circumstances or further tests needed, please ring the Academy Office and let us know, otherwise you will find that one of the days' sessions will be marked as an unauthorised absence. 


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

You can apply for leave of absence by requesting a form from the Academy’s office, however you should be aware that a leave of absence will only be granted for exceptional 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


All of the above circumstances will be dependent on the individual child’s attendance being above 96.4%


Please note if the absence is not authorised by the Principal, 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.


Please see the link Information on Penalty Notices for non-attendance at school. 


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

If your child's attendance falls below the expected level of 96.4% we will write to you each half term and let you know what your child’s current attendance percentage is.


Green = 100% to 96.4%  GOOD ATTENDANCE

Amber = 96.3% to 94.1% CAUSE FOR CONCERN




If your child has 100% attendance in a half term, they will receive an attendance certificate.

If your child's attendance continues to give cause for concern after a letter has been issued, you may be invited to a meeting to discuss strategies to improve it and a plan for improvement agreed.  This will be reviewed with you on a regular basis until it is no longer needed.


At the end of the year, certificates are awarded for Bronze, Silver and Gold attendance. Gold attendance is awarded for 100% attendance all year.


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

National attendance figures indicate that average primary school attendance was 97.1%.