Attendance and Lateness
Regular school attendance is a national priority and is important for children's education, wellbeing, and long-term development. Attendance continues to be mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age.
If your child is absent you should contact the school before 08:30 to leave a reason for absence each day. This can be done by either leaving a voicemail message (01202 512241, Option 1), or sending an e-mail to . You should contact the school on each day that your child is absent.
when the doors open for all pupils.
The doors close at 08:40, after this time, pupils arriving late need to be signed in at the office.
Registers close 08:45 - lateness after this time is recorded as 'unauthorised late' which is an unauthorised absence for the morning session and will affect your child’s overall attendance rate.
The government monitors our school on attendance; the expectation of attendance at St Mark’s is 96%; pupils who fall below 90% are classed as Persistent Absent. Should your child’s attendance fall below this you will be contacted. If you feel that support from our Pastoral Team is needed, please contact the school so that we can arrange this and discuss a plan to support the improvement of your child’s attendance. If we find that we cannot engage with you regarding your child’s attendance or if their attendance does not improve according to an attendance improvement plan, then legal action may be considered. A Penalty Notice may be issued when a pupil has at least 10% unauthorised absence over the specified warning period. The absences do not need to be consecutive.
If you wish to make a request of absence for your child, please do so in writing via firstname.lastname@example.org for Mr Bright's attention, or by letter through the school office. Each request will be considered upon it's own merits.
In accordance with BCP School Attendance Code of Conduct April 2019, when a leave of absence is taken and the school has not authorised the absence, the school may request that the Local Authority issues a Penalty Notice under Section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act. The fine for each parent is £60 if paid within 28 days and £120 if paid within 42 days. You may be prosecuted under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 if a Penalty Notice is issued but not paid.
Our school, while acknowledging that each family’s circumstances are different, is dedicated to the education of all our pupils and believes regular attendance through the year is essential to every child’s success and fulfilment. DfE research found that for pupils at the end of KS2, as the level of overall absence increases the proportion of pupils achieving the expected levels in reading and mathematics tests decreases. This link between overall absence and attainment is evident whether we look at increasing overall absence rates or increasing number of weeks missed.
Our school nurse is always willing to offer advice if you have concerns about your child’s health, you can contact the school nursing team on 01929 557558.
If you have any other concerns or wish to discuss your child’s attendance, please contact Miss Egan in the school office via parentmail or on 01202 512241.
Thank you for your support.
Holiday taken during term time, unauthorised Persistent Absence and penalty notices
In the interest of securing good attendance, schools can make a referral to BCP Council for consideration to issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) to parents/carers for taking unauthorised holiday during term time or persistent poor attendance, where the child is of compulsory school age. The decision on whether to request the Council’s consideration to issue a penalty notice ultimately rests with the Headteacher, following the Council’s code of conduct for issuing fines/penalty notices. This may take into account:
- A number of unauthorised absences occurring within a rolling academic year
- One-off instances of irregular attendance, such as holidays taken in term time without permission
- Where an excluded pupil is found in a public place during school hours without a justifiable reason.
Penalty notices will be issued by the Council, on behalf of the school, in accordance with their Penalty Notice Code of Conduct. For each qualifying case of unauthorised absence, the school or Council will decide whether a Penalty Notice is issued to one or more parent/carers for each child. This could mean four penalty notices for a family with two siblings both with unauthorised absence for holiday i.e. one Penalty Notice for each child to each parent. Each penalty notice carries a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid within 28 days. If the fine remains unpaid, the Council will consider prosecution for the non-attendance. Please be aware that it is possible for parents/carers to be prosecuted for non-attendance at school without the need to first issue a penalty notice.