School Attendance and the Law and how this affects pupils at Ss John & Monica’s school

Our attendance target for 2017/18 is 97%.

Children in the United Kingdom have a legal right to education and it is the legal responsibility of the parents or guardians to ensure that children attend school for the required 190 days per school year. We would like to thank the majority of our parents who support their children in attending school everyday and on time.

At Ss John & Monica’s Catholic Primary School we have a zero tolerance approach to absence during term time and we will not authorise any leave during the set school dates for each year. It is important that parents understand this before they make a request which will be turned down.

Birmingham Local Authority does not support parents removing their children during the school year for anything except an emergency. What constitutes an emergency will be defined by the Head Teacher as only a Head Teacher can authorise absence during term time. It should be noted that visiting relatives abroad is not regarded as an emergency nor is keeping your child at home if the parent has appointments or illness.

If you decide not to heed the school’s advice about term time holidays and take time off school, you need to be aware that we will take steps to protect your child’s right to an education. These steps can include meeting with the Head or Deputy to discuss attendance, referring your child to an Education Social Worker, referring your child to other support agencies, monitoring your child’s overall attendance and seeking penalty notices from Court and in cases where the leave reaches an unacceptable level we will remove your child from our school roll and you will have to find a new school for them.

Schools are responsible for monitoring pupil attendance and taking any necessary action to support parents in improving their child’s attendance and punctuality. We calculate your child’s attendance on a regular basis and where any child has less than 90% attendance we will be in contact with you by letter. The Government has changed its rules on what constitutes Persistent Absence. Pupils with attendnace less than 90% are regarded as persistent absentees. All pupils must be i school every day that they are well enough to be here.

How does time off impact your child? Look at this table and see how many lessons your child can miss if they are not attending…

Attendance during one school year Equals this number of days absent Which is approximately this many weeks absent Which means this number of lessons missed
90% 19 days 4 weeks 100 lessons
80% 38 days 8 weeks 200 lessons
70% 57 days 11.5 weeks 290 lessons

We run the 'Spotlight on Attendance' which is the legal process Birmingham schools take to tackle ongoing persistant absence. We advise all parents to read the school’s Attendance and Punctuality Policy (which can be found on the policy page of this website) and if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s attendance then please get in touch with Mrs Elliott or Theresa Mason who manages Pupil Attendance. The policy contains advice about medical appointments and religious leave. Our main aim is to support families who need help getting their children into school and we want to know if there is anything we can do to make this easier. We can support families making applications for transport help from the local authority if your distance makes attendance and punctuality difficult and if there are school issues we want to know as soon as possible so that we can put things in place for you and your children.

We have the full legal backing of the government and the local authority in making this Attendance Statement.


Section 23 (1) Anti Social Behaviour Act 2007:

Penalty notices may be issued to the parent of pupils who have unauthorised absence from school. The amount of the penalty is £50.

• If this amount is not paid within 28 days the amount rises to £100

• If not paid within 42 days the Local Authority will prosecute under Section 444 (1) unless it comes to our attention that the penalty notice has been issued in error.

Section 444 (1) Education Act 1996:

“If you are the parent of a child of compulsory school age who fails to attend school regularly, you are guilty of an offence.”

• The court can fine each parent up to £1000 per child, order payment of the prosecution costs and/or make a Parenting Order

Section 444 (1A) Education Act 1996:

“If in the above circumstances you, the parent, know that your child is failing to attend regularly at the school and fail without reasonable justification to cause him/her to attend, you are guilty of an offence.”

• The court can fine you up to £2500 per child and/or sentence you to a period of imprisonment of up to 3 months, and order payment of the prosecution costs.

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