LDST Attendance Policy



Attendance and Punctuality Policy

LDST has an attendance target of 97% with the aim that pupils will attend 100% of the time.


Regular school attendance is an important part of giving children the best possible start in life:

  • Research shows that the pupils with the highest attainment at the end of key stage 2 and key stage 4 have higher rates of attendance over the key stage compared to those with the lowest attainment.
  • Pupils who have time off often find it difficult to catch up and do well.
  • 90% attendance is equivalent to a pupil missing one half day per week or missing 4 whole weeks over the year - approximately 120 lessons per year missed



Approved by LGB: 7 February 2023


Review: Tri annually



Key Department for Education documents:

Working Together to improve attendance

Table of Responsibilities






Our Trust Prayer


We thank you, God of Love, for the gift of children,

Bless the work of our Trust, that in all we do

young people may grow in wisdom and stature,

and so come

to know you,

to love you

and to serve you

as Jesus did.

We make this prayer in his name who is God

with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.




















As a Diocesan Trust, our Christian values are intrinsically linked to our commitment to provide an innovative, high quality education, so that children and learners make excellent progress and fulfil their academic potential. Good attendance is key to this.

Based on our Christian vision for an excellent education for all,  we encourage the highest possible levels of attendance and punctuality for pupils within all of our schools, supporting their learning and development and safeguarding them, by seeing them every day and providing them with an educationally safe and secure environment.

Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me.’ (Mt 19).

We believe that we are fulfilling this command by working with schools and families to encourage children   to attend school every day, and on time, so that they can flourish and achieve excellence.  Our Trust’s vision embraces the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, moral and social development of children and young people, and through good attendance we believe that we can promote the development of the whole child so that children grow in wisdom and stature.

To gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that all pupils attend regularly and on time. Pupils should aim to attend every day that schools are open.  We aspire for all pupils to attain 100% attendance with the expectation that all pupils will achieve at least 97%. As a trust, we define regular attendance in our schools as 97% or above.

LDST believes teachers, parents, carers, pupils and all members of each school’s community have an important contribution in improving attendance and punctuality ensuring pupils attend to achieve the very best they can. We treat all pupils and parents with dignity and staff model respectful relationships to build a positive relationship between home and school that can be the foundation of good attendance We aim to work with parents and carers in a spirit of hope and compassion. This policy sets out how we will achieve this together.

Aims of this Policy


  • Maximise the overall percentage of pupil attendance and punctuality at all schools in LDST.


  • Support and challenge school leaders to embed strong systems for securing good attendance See appendix 6


  • Promote our vision of high attendance and punctuality amongst the school community.


  • Reduce the number of pupils who are persistently absent.


  • Provide support advice and guidance for parents, pupils and staff.


  • Develop clear procedures for the maintenance of accurate registration for pupils.


  • Ensure a systematic approach to gathering, analysing and acting upon attendance data.


  • Ensure a Trust-wide, whole school approach to ensure consistency of intervention strategies.


  • Continue to promote effective partnerships with the Local Authority, Children’s Services, Health and other partner



Promoting regular Attendance is everyone’s responsibility


Some pupils find it harder than others to attend school and therefore at all stages of improving attendance, schools and partners work with pupils and parents to remove any barriers to attendance by building strong and trusting relationships and working together to put the right support in place. Securing good attendance in LDST schools is therefore a concerted effort across all teaching and nonteaching, the trust or governing body, the local authority, and other local partners. 


The member of staff at Rainford C.E. Primary School who is responsible for the strategic approach to attendance at the school is Mrs A Richardson.


Working together to improve attendance

In LDST we expect schools and families to work together to secure the highest attendance. We:















Effective school attendance improvement and management





Expectations of schools

  • Develop and maintain a whole school culture that promotes the benefits of good attendance
  • Encourage good attendance and punctuality through
    • Appropriate interventions.
    • Delivering a good quality curriculum
    • Recognising that high quality teaching and learning is essential to the promotion of attendance.
    • Rewarding good attendance and punctuality through regular incentives.


  • Communicate and publish: See appendix 1
    • a clear school attendance policy on the school website which all staff, pupils and parents
    • Robust daily processes to follow up absence.
    • The dedicated senior leader with overall responsibility for championing and improving
    • Clearly defined staff attendance roles and responsibilities


  • Encourage effective partnerships with parent/carers through regular contact to provide appropriate support.


  • Ensure Parents/carers are kept informed of pupils’ attendance and punctuality through first day contact, termly progress reports, individual letters and meetings when required.


  • Accurately complete Admission and electronic Attendance Registers. See appendix 5


  • Proactively monitor and analyse data to identify pupils at risk of poor attendance and develop strategies to support them. See appendix 4


  • Work with each identified pupil and their parents to understand and address the reasons for absence, including any in-school barriers to attendance.



  • Ensure our most vulnerable pupils are given equal opportunities to flourish and provided with appropriate support to ensure they have good attendance:
    • Where out of school barriers are identified, signpost and support access to any required services in the first instance.
    • Where appropriate, take an active part in the multi-agency effort with the local authority and other partners.
    • Intensify support through statutory children’s social care where there are safeguarding concerns
    • Where required, put in place additional support and adjustments, such as an individual healthcare plan and if applicable, ensuring the provision outlined in the pupil’s EHCP is accessed.


  • Work with other schools in the local area and the local authority to share effective practice where there are common barriers to attendance.




Expectations of Parent/Carer See appendix 2

We believe every child has the right to access a high quality education so they can ‘grow in wisdom and stature’ (Luke 2:52). The law entitles every child of compulsory school age to an efficient, full-time education suitable to their age, aptitude, and any special educational need they may have. It is the legal responsibility of every parent to make sure their child receives that education either by attendance at a school or by education otherwise than at a school. Where parents decide to have their child registered at school, they have an additional legal duty to ensure their child attends that school regularly.

Parents are expected to support the Trust’s attendance policy by:

  • Ensuring their child attends every day the school is open except when a statutory reason applies.


  • Notifying the school as soon as possible when their child has to be unexpectedly absent (e.g. sickness). A child not attending school is considered to be a safeguarding matter. This is why information about the cause of any absence is required.


  • Only requesting leave of absence in exceptional circumstances and do so in advance.


  • Booking any medical appointments around the school day where possible.
  • Working with the school and local authority to help them understand their child’s barriers to


  • Proactively engaging with the support offered to prevent the need for more formal support, including any parenting contract or voluntary early help plan to prevent the need for legal intervention

 The Education Welfare Officer (EWO)

  • The Education Welfare Officer – provides support for parents/carer and advice on problems relating to attendance and encourages good communications between home and school.


  • The EWO will always try to resolve the situation by agreement with the family but, if a resolution cannot be achieved to improve the pupil’s attendance and where unauthorised absence persists the EWO will be required to give consideration to the instigation of legal proceedings which include; Penalty Notices, Parental Prosecution and Education Supervision Orders. Details regarding attendance law, penalty fines and legal interventions are available from the Local Authority.


Punctuality See appendix 3

Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If a pupil misses the start of the day, they can miss work and disrupt lessons, it can be embarrassing for the pupil arriving late and can encourage future absence.

Schools in LDST proactively manage lateness and set out in their attendance policy the length of time the register will be open, after which a pupil will be marked as absent.


Children who are persistently late miss a significant amount of learning, often the most important aspect, as the beginning of the day is where the teacher explains  the learning and what each child is expected to achieve.


Where there have been persistent incidents of lateness parents/carers will receive a letter advising them of the concerns and the school will provide opportunities for parents/carers to seek support and advice to address these issues. Persistent cases of lateness can lead to legal sanctions such as Penalty Notice fine.


Understanding types of Absence

Schools must record every absence that a pupil takes from school and this is why it is important that parents/carers advise school about the cause of any absence, preferably by calling the school on the first day of absence and in writing on the pupil’s return.

Authorised Absence

Authorised Absence is when the school has accepted the explanation offered as satisfactory justification for the absence or given approval in advance for such an absence. If no explanation is received, absences cannot be authorised. It is the Headteacher, not parents who make the decision to authorise absence from school.

Unauthorised Absence

Unauthorised Absence is when the school has not received a reason for absence or has not approved a child’s leave absence from school after a parent’s request. This includes but is not exclusive to:

  • Parents giving their children permission to be off school unnecessarily, such as for shopping, birthdays, to look after siblings
  • Absences which have not been explained.
  • Pupils who arrive at school too late to get their mark.


Leave of Absence in Term Time

Only exceptional circumstances warrant a leave of absence. Schools should consider each application individually taking into account the specific facts and circumstances and relevant background context behind the request. If a leave of absence is granted, it is for the headteacher to determine the length of the time the pupil can be away from school.


As head teachers should only grant leaves of absence in exceptional circumstances it is unlikely a leave of absence will be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.



Persistent Absence

  • Pupils are defined as persistent absentees by the Department for Education (DFE) if their attendance falls below 90%. This is for any absence whether authorised or unauthorised. Schools are expected to intervene well before pupils reach a level of persistent absence.
  • Where absence escalates and pupils miss 10% or more of school (equivalent to 1 day or more a fortnight across a full school year), we work with parents and local authorities to put additional targeted support in place to remove any barriers to attendance and reengage these pupils.
  • We pay particular focus to pupils who are absent from school more than they are present (those missing 50% or more of school) and work with external agencies to provide intensive support


Part-time timetables

  • All pupils of compulsory school age are entitled to a full-time education. In very exceptional circumstances, where it is in a pupil’s best interests, there may be a need for a temporary part-time timetable to meet their individual needs. For example, where a medical condition prevents a pupil from attending full-time education and a part-time timetable is considered as part of a re-integration package. A part-time timetable should not be used to manage a pupil’s behaviour. This is time-limited


School/LA specific information

Unauthorised absence may lead to the use of Penalty Notices or other sanctions from the Local Authority. From September 2018 Rainford C.E. Primary School can issue warning letters (in accordance with the Local Authority Code of Conduct) to parents where their child has accrued 10 sessions of unauthorised absence in any one term. The warning period will cover a period of 20 school days. If the child has any unauthorised absence during this time the school will refer to case to the local authority requesting a Penalty Notice be issued.

In addition, education-related parenting orders are available by direct application by a school or LA to the Magistrates’ Court as an ancillary order following a successful prosecution by the LA for irregular attendance or breach of a school attendance order.



Removal from Roll

From the 1st September 2016 changes were introduced to the Pupil Registration Regulations 2016. These amendments affect all non-standard transitions; this is whenever a child of compulsory school age leaves a school before completing the school’s final year.

As a school we are now required to:

  • Inform the LA in every circumstance when deleting a pupil’s name from the admission register
  • Inform the LA of the pupil's destination school and home address if the pupil is moving to a new school.
  • Provide information to the LA when registering new pupils, including the pupil's address and previous school.


If your child is leaving our school parents are asked to:

  • Give the attendance officer comprehensive information about their plans, including any date

of a move and your new address and telephone numbers, your child’s new school  and the start date when known. This should be submitted to our school in writing.

  • If pupils leave and we do not have the above information, then your child is considered to be a child missing in education. This requires schools and local authorities to then carry out

investigations to try and locate your child, which includes liaising with Children’s Services, the Police and other agencies. By giving us the above information, these investigations can be avoided.




How the school encourages good attendance


  1. Children with 100% attendance receive termly certificates
  2. Children with 100th for the full academic year receive a certificate and ‘McDonald’s lunch’
  3. The junior class and the infant class with the highest attendance receives a trophy in weekly Celebration Assembly



Appendix 1: Specific information to be published

Schools must include this specific Information in their attendance policy

The attendance and punctuality expectations of pupils and parents,


The name and contact details of the senior leader responsible for the strategic approach to attendance in school.


start and close of the day times


register closing times – no later than 30 minutes after the


Information and contact details of the school staff who pupils and parents should contact about attendance on a day to day basis (such as a form tutor, attendance officer etc) and for more detailed support on attendance (such as a head of year, pastoral lead or family liaison officer


The school’s day to day processes for managing attendance, for example first day calling and processes to follow up on unexplained absence. 



Telephone and text the parent/carer on the first day of absence if we have not heard from them by XXXX am.


·       If no response is received and the absence is unauthorised a member of school staff will conduct a home visit. If there are safeguarding concerns, contact will be made with the family as soon as possible.


·       If a pupil’s absences are increasing and we are not aware of a good reason the parent/carer will be invited to meet the XXXXXX.




how to inform the school of the reason for an unexpected absence


processes for requesting leaves of absence and


How the school is promoting and incentivising good attendance.



The school’s strategy for using data to target attendance improvement


The school’s strategy for reducing persistent and severe absence, including how access to wider support services will be provided to remove the barriers to attendance and when support will be formalised in conjunction with the local authority.



The point at which Fixed Penalty Notices for absence and other sanctions will be sought if support is not appropriate (e.g. for an unauthorised holiday in term time), not successful, or not engaged with.






Appendix 2: What parents must do if their child is going to be absent

  • Ensure your child arrives for school on time. – between 8.50am and 9.00am.
  • Telephone school if your child is to be late as soon as possible and always before 9.30am.


  • For routine non-emergency medical and dental appointments please ensure they are made outside of school hours.


  • Contact school preferably by 9am on the first day of absence if your child is unable to attend through illness, giving an indication of the expected duration and return date to school.


  • If a text message/phone call is received as a result of your child’s absence it is important that you respond to this text to ensure your child is appropriately safeguarded.


  • Contact Mrs Richardson if the reason for absence requires a more personal contact.


  • In case of emergency we need up to date contact numbers at all times so please ensure you inform us of any changes especially to mobile telephone numbers. As a school we request a minimum of two emergency contact details be provided


  • Requests for exceptional circumstances leave of absence must be in writing to the Headteacher and can only be authorised by the Headteacher. Reasons such as a close family bereavement or taking part in a significant religious event would be acceptable for short absences. Unacceptable reasons for missing school, include general holidays, weddings, shopping, concerts and birthdays. Absence Forms can be requested from the school reception.





Appendix 3: How we manage lateness

The school day starts, and registers are taken at 9am by the class teacher and pupils receive a late mark if they are not in their class by that time. School recommends that pupils arrive by 8.50am.


  • If a pupil arrives late to school parents/carers will receive a text message/telephone call to inform them of their child’s late arrival.


  • Late arrival to school following the close of registers is classified as an absence. If a pupil is persistently late after the official close of the register, the school may request the local authority issue a Penalty Notice.


If a Parent/Carer has any problem getting their child to attend school on time they should contact the Mrs Heyes or Mrs Hirst in the School Office who will offer support to resolve the problem.




Appendix 4: Monitoring Attendance

Our schools analyse attendance and absence data to identify pupils or cohorts that require support with their attendance and to look at historic and emerging patterns across the school and develop strategies to address them. and put effective strategies in place


  • Monitor and analyse weekly attendance patterns and trends and deliver intervention and support in a targeted way to pupils and families. We analyse the data for individual pupils, cohorts and groups (including their punctuality) across the school to help schools achieve their responsibilities under the Public Sector Equality Duty.
  • Analyse patterns of attendance
  • Use this analysis to provide regular attendance reports to class teachers or tutors to facilitate discussions with pupils and to leaders (including any special educational needs coordinators, designated safeguarding leads and pupil premium leads).
  • Identify the pupils who need support and focus staff efforts on developing targeted actions for those cases).
  • Conduct thorough analysis of half-termly, termly, and full year data to identify patterns and trends. This includes analysis of pupils and cohorts and identifying patterns in uses of certain codes and days of poor attendance.
  • Benchmark our attendance data (at whole Trust, school, year group and cohort level) against local, regional, and national levels to identify areas of focus for improvement.
  • Devise specific strategies to address areas of poor attendance identified through data.
  • Monitor in the data the impact of school wide attendance efforts, including any specific strategies implemented. The findings should then be used to evaluate approaches or inform future strategies.
  • Provide data and reports to support the work of the board or governing body, as set out in section 3.












Appendix 5: Admissions and Attendance Registers

The law requires all schools including independent schools to have an admission register and, all pupils (regardless of their age) must be placed on the admission register and have their attendance recorded in the attendance register.

Admissions Register (‘the school roll’)

The admission register (sometimes referred to as the school roll) must contain specific personal details of every pupil in the school along with the date of admission or re-admission to the school, information regarding parents and carers, and details of the school last attended.


Attendance Register

Schools must also take the attendance register at the start of each morning session of each school day and once during each afternoon session. On each occasion they must record whether every pupil is present, attending an approved educational activity, absent, or unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances.

Retaining and amending registers

Effective and timely use and sharing of register data is critical to improve attendance. Schools are expected to use an electronic management information system to keep their attendance and admission registers to improve accuracy, speed up the process of sharing and analysing information, and make returns to local authorities and DfE easier.

Registers are legal records and all schools must preserve every entry in the attendance or admission register for 3 years from the date of entry. As the attendance register is a record of the pupils present at the time it was taken, the register should only routinely be amended where the reason for absence cannot be established at the time it is taken and it is subsequently necessary to correct the entry. Where amendments are made, all schools must ensure the register shows the original entry, the amended entry, the reason for the amendment, the date on which the amendment was made, and the name and title of the person who made the amendment.



Appendix 6

The role of LDST in securing good attendance

We recognise the importance of school attendance and as  a trust, we are committed to maintaining a constant focus on improving attendance. We:

  • Set high expectations of all leaders, staff, pupils, and parents. Ensure school leaders fulfil expectations and statutory duties.
  • Regularly review attendance data, discuss, and challenge trends, and help school leaders focus improvement efforts on the individual pupils or cohorts who need it most.
  • Ensure school staff receive adequate training on attendance.
  • Share effective practice on attendance management and improvement across schools.
  • Support schools to prioritise attendance, and work together with school leaders to set whole school attendance cultures
  • Recognise that attendance improvement does not happen in isolation and ensure it is prioritised in wider improvement strategies, such as raising attainment, behaviour, special educational needs and disabilities, wellbeing, and safeguarding. In order to achieve this all our schools hav a link governor that focuses on attendance.
  • Identify and monitor attendance patterns across our schools to identify common issues and barriers and share effective practice between schools.
  • Work with school leaders to set goals or areas of focus for attendance and providing support and challenge around delivery against those focus areas.
  • Work with school leaders to develop a comprehensive attendance action plan to improve attendance.



Appendix 7

Example of Attendance and Punctuality Roles and Responsibilities



Actions Expected



·     Arrive on school site between 8.50am and 9am

·     Be in class on time for registration at 9.00 am


Class Teacher


·     Electronic Registers are completed each day on time

·     Ensure attendance has a high profile in class

·     Discuss absence with pupils returning to school

·     Welcoming long-term absentees back into the class

Pastoral Staff

·     Ensuring staff have completed AM/PM registers


·     Ensuring input of accurate attendance marks in the register


·     Identify pupils who are absent from school without reason (before 9.30am)


·     Record parental voicemails, text messages and emails regarding student absences


·     Ensure all late arriving pupils are spoken to and their attendance is entered on to SIMS


·     Record in touch messages sent to parent/carers who have failed to contact regarding their child’s absence and also pupils who arrive late.


·     First day absence phone contact with parents/carers, following up unexplained absences where no text message/phone call has been returned.


·     SLT and class teachers contacted with specific attendance queries and necessary follow ups required


·     Supporting staff with registration queries, support the interventions of the class teachers.


·     Logging attendance of all pupils going out /in school for medical, dental or visits


·     Daily liaison with other settings for pupils educated off site to ensure AM and PM registers are provided within set time parameters and pupils who fail to attend with reasons unknown are followed up through the First Day contact systems.


·     Daily late process, log and send actions for relevant staff.


·     Daily Attendance/ PA report sent to senior leader with responsibility for attendance.


Curriculum Leaders

·       Curriculum leaders’ informal discussions with identified pupils to follow up attendance issues and agree future action required.

·       Curriculum leaders discuss with class teachers when required identified pupils of concern regarding specific attendance queries and necessary follow ups required.



·       Safeguarding home visits as required.

·       Focused casework interventions with persistent absence pupils and families.

·       Phone call contact with pupils/parent/carers

·       Home visits

·       Instigation of legal proceedings

·       Tracking of actions and interventions and feedback to pastoral staff.

Senior Leaders

·       Monitoring and tracking of staff not completing registers in line with Safeguarding requirements.

·       Daily attendance meeting with Attendance Lead

·       Liaison with EWO, Pastoral staff and Curriculum Leaders regarding support work with identified pupils






Actions Expected


Class teacher

·     Ensure all members of the class know the school target and their current attendance

·    Monitor/follow up identified pupil absence by making contact with parent/carers where appropriate.

·    Update information on attendance boards


Pastoral Staff

·    Informing SLT and EWO of pupil patterns of absence.

·    Provide weekly pupil attendance figures for class teachers and pupil rewards

·    Discuss punctuality issues with identified pupils and parent/carers

·       Pupils rewards

·    Provide weekly punctuality data for class teacher and pupil rewards

Curriculum Leader

·       Details of pupils who are regularly absent should be forward initially to the subject leaders

·       Organise help for pupils to catch up on missed work due to prolonged absence

Senior Leaders

·   Monitoring and Tracking of staff not completing registers in line with

Safeguarding requirements.

·       Weekly attendance meeting with attendance team to plan actions

·       Liaison with EWO, Pastoral Coordinators and Curriculum Leaders regarding support work with identified pupils




Actions Expected


Senior Leader

·    Maintain a high profile of attendance as a significant contributor to pupil achievement

·    Use attendance data to identify and take action to improve the attendance of vulnerable pupils

·    Ensure that all teaching staff focus on attendance in planning and pedagogy



Senior          Leader

·    Ensure that attendance features in ALL parents evenings

·    Monitor and track attendance/PA Action Plans

·    Liaise with EWO to share information and agree joint actions re action plans or other pupils causing concern






Senior Leader

·       The importance of attendance is underpinned by awareness of safeguarding issues for all pupils both in school and those at off-site provision

·       School Attendance Review alongside the EWO

·       Ensure that attendance is given a high profile as a key driver of school improvement and provide support and guidance to SLT, for plans to raise attendance

·       Ensure that the attendance policy is implemented across the school and that systems are operating effectively.

·       Report to SLT on attendance matters

·       Ensure school prospectus, parent/carers welcome booklet and school newsletters promote attendance.



·     Ensure that attendance maintains a high profile as a key driver of school improvement through close monitoring and scrutiny of attendance data in conjunction with SLT and Governors











Lead Responsibility


Attendance is excellent


Rewards and Praise

Termly certificates for 100%

End of year reward for 100%


Class Teacher

Pastoral Staff

Senior Leader

99.9% - 97%

Attendance is good


Rewards and Encouragement

Termly certificates for pupils reaching the 97% target

Weekly class attendance competition


Class Teacher

Pastoral Staff

Senior Leader


Less than 96%




Highlight any decline

Agree actions

Rewards and Encouragement

Weekly class attendance competition


Class Teacher

Pastoral Staff

Senior Leader



Pupils at risk of becoming persistently absent


Talk to pupils and contact parent/carers

5 minute meetings

Return to school discussions

Safeguarding visits

Early Intervention EWO

Persistent absence warning letters

HT meet with parents / carers


Below 90%

Attendance is a

serious concern



Regular attendance action planning  meetings 

HT meet with parents / carers

Governors meet with parents / carers

Safeguarding visits

Action Plans

Legal intervention


Senior Leader

Pastoral Staff



Appendix 8: Attendance levels








Appendix 9: Our Attendance Charter

Our Attendance and Punctuality Charter

Regular school attendance is an important part of giving children the best possible start in life. LDST has an attendance target of 97%, and aim that pupils and students will  attend 100% of the time.


Schools within the Liverpool Diocesan Schools Trust:

  • Work together to support and improve the attendance and punctuality of all children across our Trust
  • Share best practice to promote the best attendance.
  • Recognise that we must act as attendance role models for the children and young people in our care.
  • Champion and celebrate outstanding and improved attendance.
  • Rigorously and consistently address attendance concerns and issues
  • Seek to support parents and carers to prioritise school attendance.
  • Recognise that patterns form early and we encourage attendance of our youngest children.
  • Encourage positive attendance across all key stages so that young people are ready for the next stage of education, training or work.
  • Promote the importance of children arriving at school on time and remaining at school all day.


Learners with good attendance make greater progress.