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St Matthew’s
Church of England Academy

Together we work, play, learn and pray with Jesus

St Matthew's Church of England Academy & Nursery - please view our admissions pages for places available in Nursery, Reception and throughout the school.
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St Matthew’s
Church of England Academy

Attendance, Absence & Late Procedures

St Matthew's Academy Attendance Policy

Pupil illness and School Attendance.
There is wide agreement among health professionals and educational professionals that school attendance is vital to the life chances of children and young people. Being in school improves health, wellbeing and socialisation throughout the life course. The greatest benefits come from children and young people attending school regularly.

When to keep your child off school:

In addition to respiratory illnesses, we are aware that more children may be absent from school due to symptoms of anxiety than before the pandemic. Worry and mild or moderate anxiety, whilst sometimes difficult emotions, can be a normal part of growing up for many children and young people. Being in school can often help alleviate the underlying issues. A prolonged period of absence is likely to heighten a child’s anxiety about attending in the future, rather than reduce it. 

Please do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff if you are unsure of whether to keep your child off school. 


As a school we aim to:

Maintain a high level of attendance across the school.

Maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance.

Maintain good time keeping.

Good attendance is important because:

Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance.

Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically.

Regular attenders find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with.

Regular attenders find learning more satisfying.

Regular attenders settle into High school more easily.

Your child's Individual School Attendance Target is 96% or more.

As a parent you are responsible for:

Ensuring your child attends school regularly. Absence should only happen when your child is genuinely too ill to attend school, or if there is an unavoidable/unforeseen reason or circumstance which is causing a difficulty/period of difficulty.

Telephoning on the first morning of any absence, by 9.30am to give us the reason and tell us when your child is likely to return to school.

Arranging all non-emergency medical appointments out of school hours or during school holidays.

Providing medical evidence when there is frequent absence claimed as illness.

Keeping us updated by telephone or email if your child has any extended period of absence.

Making sure we always have two or more current contact numbers; this includes all telephone numbers, child minders and emergency contact details.

We shall:

Follow up unexplained absences by phone calls / emails or texts as necessary.

Remind parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in our letters, the school newsletter and App, open evenings and pupil annual reports.

Publish our attendance rate in the school communication and the Local Academy Committee’s report to parents.

Acknowledge and reward good attendance and punctuality.

Publish your child’s attendance rate on her/his annual school report.

Let you know if we have concerns regarding your child’s attendance and punctuality.

If we continue to have concerns we may make a referral to the Local Authority Education Welfare Worker. These officers may visit you at home to investigate the reasons for your child's poor attendance.



Authorised Absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness or other unavoidable cause.

Unauthorised Absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no 'leave' has been given.  This includes;

  •   Waiting for a delivery
  •   Going for a family day out     
  •   Children who arrive late to school, after the registers have closed
  •   Going shopping or for a hair cut 
  •   Because it is your child’s birthday
  •   Term time holiday/cheap flights
  •   Parent’s illness
  •   Parents keeping children off school unnecessarily
  •   Absences which have never been properly explained

Where there is no explanation for an absence or where the explanation or reason for the absence is considered unsatisfactory, absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’.   The Local Authority may contact you where unauthorised absence continues to be a problem. Unauthorised absence could result in a Penalty Notice Fine or other legal action.



It is important to be on time as the first part of the school day is used to give out instructions or               organise schoolwork for the rest that day. It is also a time for children to settle down by reading or another quiet activity so they are ready for lessons immediately after registration.


Morning registration is at 9.00 am.  We encourage children to arrive into school from 8.40am.  Your child will be registered as 'late' if they arrive after 9.00 am.  Late arrivals are disruptive to the whole class and are often embarrassing for your child. We take the view there are no late children, only late parents. 

Arrival after the close of registration (9.15am) will be marked as an unauthorised absence code ‘U’ in line with the DFE guidance.  Please note these unauthorised late absences can also result in a Penalty Notice issued by the Local Authority if there is 12 or more unauthorised late marks in a 12 week period.  (See Penalty Notice notes.)

All lateness is recorded daily. The number of minutes late and the reason for lateness, if known, will also be recorded. This information can be made available to the courts in the form of a report, should a prosecution be the outcome of repeated lateness.                                                                                                                                                                     

Please collect your child promptly at the end of the school day. Where late collection is persistent and/or significantly late, the school is obliged to take any uncollected pupil to a place of safety and share concerns with other agencies.


Child’s attendance falls below 96%

Persistently <96% at half term review

No improvement over an agreed period

Letter to parents 1


Letter to parents 2

Invitation to attend an attendance clinic.

Letter to parents 3

Referral to Education Welfare Service