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St James' CofE Junior School

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Attendance - Why does it matter?


At St. James' Junior School, we recognise the importance of being in school, on time, every day.


The national average attendance expected for children is 96%.


If your child has 90% attendance, they will have the equivalent of half a day off per week, which adds up to 247 days off over their full school life.

This equals 1 full school year of lost education.

Holiday Requests


If you wish to request some time off during school term time there is a form that must be completed. Please know that permission for holidays are only granted in exceptional circumstances. If your request is declined, and you still take your child out of school, each parent within your household can be issued with a £60 penalty notice for each child you have taken out of school. 


If a penalty notice remains unpaid after 21 days it will increase to £120. If after 28 days it remains unpaid you may be summoned to appear before Magistrates to explain why your child has unauthorised school absences and you may be liable for a fine of up to £1000.


Taking into account all of the above, we strongly advise you against taking children out of school during term time for family holidays.

How can you help?


We understand that children will need time off school when they are poorly.

However, you can avoid attendance becoming a concern by engaging with school and not taking unnecessary days off e.g. holidays during term time.


Trying to make appointments for your child, and other family members, out of school hours will reduce time missed in classroom. This will make less of an impact on their school life.


You may not realise how quickly the odd day off can lead to a big dip in attendance percentage, indicating to school and other agencies that there may be problems to address.


If your child is not in school regularly, they will miss out on fundamental learning in the classroom. This is extremely difficult to catch up on and affects all aspects of their future education, as well as forming bad habits.


If your child is unable to attend school because they are ill, then please contact school to let us know. If you do not inform school then school may need to make a home visit. 


If you are attending an appointment and it can’t be rearranged for out of school time, please show the office your appointment card/text and your absence will be authorised.


Punctuality is just as important as attendance. If your child has 100% attendance but regularly arrives up to half an hour late, they are still missing vital learning. If your child is 5 minutes late every day, then they are missing, on average, a whole day's learning per half-term.



As part of our on-going support system for children and their families you will receive notifications if your child’s attendance starts to become a concern. If this happens, please work with the school in order to help improve your child's attendance.



You can view a copy of our attendance policy here