Skip to content ↓


Our school gates open at 8.30am, and children must be in their classes for registration by 8.45am at the latest. 

Regular and punctual attendance at school is a legal requirement and essential for pupils to maximise their educational opportunities.  At St John's, we expect every pupil to have at least 96% attendance. We want all of our pupils to achieve their full potential. Barriers such as poor attendance will hinder, delay or stop their progress.  Our Attendance Policy, found on our Policies page, provides information on how we monitor, reward and support attendance.

Medical appointments

We ask parents to try wherever possible to arrange doctor or dentist appointments outside of school time. If this is not possible, then we request that students do not take the whole day off and come in on either the morning or the afternoon of the same day.  We also require parents to provide evidence of the appointment, otherwise the absence will be marked as unauthorised.

Leave of absence during term time

Since 1st September 2013, headteachers have been unable to agree leave of absence during term time unless they are satisfied there are exceptional circumstances.  Should absence be agreed, headteachers can specify the number of days a pupil will be allowed to be absent from school.  Where leave of absence is not agreed and the pupil is out of school, or the pupil is away longer than was agreed, or an application has not been made in advance, the absence is recorded as unauthorised.  Headteachers cannot give retrospective approval.

Where leave of absence is taken for a holiday that has not been authorised, a headteacher may request the local authority to issue a Penalty Notice.  Penalty Notices are issued to each parent for each child who is absent without the agreement of the headteacher.  Penalty Notices carry a fine of £60 per parent per child if not paid within 21 days, increasing to £120 per parent per child if paid between 22-28 days.  There is no right of appeal against the issuing of a Penalty Notice because the authorisation of absence is the sole responsibility of the headteacher.  Where Penalty Notice(s) are unpaid, the local authority may consider taking legal action under Section 444(1) Education Act 1996 for failure to ensure a child's regular attendance at school.  If this happens, the case will take place before magistrates, who could issue the maximum fine of £1000 per parent per child for this offence.

Other times when a penalty notice may be issued

  • Overt truancy (including pupils caught on truancy sweeps).
  • Parentally-condoned absences.
  • Persistent late arrival at school (after the school register has closed).
  • Where an excluded child is found in a public place during school hours during the first five days of exclusion.