Abbey Catholic Primary School
Abbey Catholic Primary School


The Education Regulations 1991 (Pupils’ Attendance Records)

The above regulations require the school to keep very detailed records concerning pupils’ attendance and to publish data. We are pleased with our pupils’ attitude towards school attendance and we are sure you will assist the school in maintaining this positive approach. The regulations are more concerned with non-attendance than attendance, and non-attendance falls into two categories: authorised and unauthorised.

Authorised Absence

Authorised absence is absence for a valid reason. This includes circumstances for which leave has been granted such as sickness, medical and dental appointments, educational visits or death in the immediate family. This list is not definitive and there may be other events which fall into this category.

This list is not intended to promote authorised absence as we would expect medical and dental appointments to be arranged outside the school day. A copy of any appointment letter or card should be sent to school. A note is required if a child is to leave school during the day for any reason eg medical or dental appointments. All children must, on these occasions, be collected from the school building. Please report to the Office.

Please note, current policies do not allow holidays during the time school is in session. If you do need to request some time out of school for your child, please write to the Headteacher requesting leave of absence using the standard pro-forma which is available from the school office. In the majority of cases, such leave will not be granted.

See our Attendance Policy on our Policies and Documents page.

Unauthorised Absence

Unauthorised absence is unjustified absence. This is absence as a result of premeditated or spontaneous action on the part of the pupil, parent or both. Schools are required to keep attendance registers which record the nature of absence. All absences, therefore, must be supported by a letter of explanation by a parent or guardian. Such evidence will not necessarily result in the absence being authorised.

The Importance of Good Attendance

Find out more about the importance of good attendance in the presentation below:


We encourage all children to achieve 100% attendance

Our motto is 'Be on time by ten to nine'

Lost Learning Due to Poor Attendance

The chart below identifies the possible amount of lost learning due to poor attendance:

Attendance during the school yearEquals this number of days absentWhich is approx this many weeks absentWhich means this number of lessons missed
95%9 days2 weeks50 lessons
90%19 days4 weeks100 lessons
85%29 days6 weeks150 lessons
80%38 days8 weeks200 lessons
70%57 days11.5 weeks290 lessons

Attendance and Absence Figures

Here are our school’s figures for 2022/23:

  • Anticipated Attendance Rate: 94%

Our school operates the ‘Spotlight on Attendance’ programme in order to help parents improve their child’s attendance. We also employ attendance officers to monitor this area and to give advice to parents.

Criteria for Authorised/Unauthorised Absence

  • Medical – please make every effort to make appointments outside school hours, otherwise send in the medical/dental card and ensure that your child returns to school after the appointment.
  • Illness – please inform us of the details as follows: personal visit to the school office on the first day of absence; telephone call on the first day of absence; in addition, on your child’s return, please send in a letter stating reason for absence.
  • Visits – this would normally be in the case of your child making a pre-transfer visit to another school.
  • Religious Observance/Pilgrimage – we do require written requests for this type of absence. This includes non-Catholic religious observance and pilgrimages of all faiths.
  • Holiday – children must not be kept away from school for the purpose of taking a family holiday in term time.

Any other forms of absence will be considered as unauthorised unless a specific request has been received and agreed with the Headteacher.

Parents of children whose past absence profile reflects persistent absence for any number of reasons, will receive regular communications in order to improve their child’s attendance rate. The local authority now guides us towards implementing a project known as ‘Spotlight on Attendance’ which may result in legal proceedings being instigated in relevant circumstances.