Attendance and Punctuality

At St. Luke’s we want to ensure that our pupils receive every opportunity available to them to achieve their full potential. In order to gain the most from school, children need to attend school regularly and on time. We know that when children miss lessons, due to absence or lateness, it has a negative impact on their progress. As teachers often plan sequences of lessons over a week or longer period of time, one missed day really does matter; it means that your child has to catch up on what has been missed.

We want to ensure that pupils are in school for the maximum number of days. The overall school attendance target for September 2023 – 2024 is 96.5%. Good attendance at primary school helps children develop skills for life; missing school seriously affects life opportunities.

What happens if my child is regularly absent?
  • The school will write to parents for any absences recorded as ‘N’; no reason given, daily and weekly.
  • Attendance is monitored regularly, and advisory letters will be written for any absences under 95%.
  • Further absences will result in a further letter and then the parent will be invited to a school attendance meeting with Mrs Bryan-Whyte / Ms Greenway and Mrs Atkins to discuss support to improve a child’s attendance. This could be in the form of Early Help, CAMHS, School Nurse etc.
  • Additional absences will result in an Attendance Panel (we usually invite the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO)) and targets are set.
  • Continued unauthorised absences will be referred formally to the EWO via a Multi- Agency Form.


A child will become a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 10% or more schooling across the year no matter what the reason.

If a child is absent for at least ten days without contact from parent/ carer, then the designated liaison officer will contact the Lambeth’s Education Welfare Officer and make a referral (Children Missing Education (CME)/ Children at Risk of Sexual Exploitation (CSE)).

If the child is absent for at least ten days, even with contact from parent / carer than the designated liaison officer may contact the LA’s (as above).

Exceptional leave

The Headteacher will not authorise any term time leave for family holidays or other reasons, this is in line with the Department of Education’s guidance. In very special circumstances, the school may grant special leave if the necessary evidence is provided i.e. a single day to attend a close family funeral. An exceptional special leave form must be completed.

It is important to note the following:

  • Non-approved absences will be recorded as unauthorised and will result in a fine from Lambeth Inclusion.
  • Unauthorised absences over 20 school days, may result in children being off- rolled from St Luke’s and parents would need to apply for school places again. If there is no space at St Luke’s, you will need to apply to another school.
  • Any absences that require travelling abroad require evidence (for safeguarding purposes) and parents will need to provide flight details – date in and out of the country.
  • If the evidence above is not submitted, that the school will need to report children ‘missing in education’ as the school has not been provided with proof of leaving the country and date of return.
  • If the absence is extended due to illness or cancellation of flights, parents need to contact the school as soon as possible with the new flight information, proof of illness and the original flight information.
What happens if my child is late?

All children should be at school no later than 8.55am, ready to be in their classrooms for lessons to begin at 9.00am. When learners arrive late, lessons are interrupted as children enter classrooms after a lesson has begun. Late children miss the beginning explanation of the lesson and the teacher is required to take time out to explain tasks. This breaks the flow and effectiveness of the learning. Consequently, all the children are negatively impacted.

A child is considered late from 9.00am. All children who arrive at school after 9.00am need to enter the school via the main school doors and sign in on the InVentry system, this is then recorded on our Management Information System (MIS) Arbor.

Arrival between 9.05am and 9.30am will result in a ‘L’ mark in the register.

Arrival after 9.30am will be recorded as an ‘U’ mark in the register and this affects your child’s attendance.

You will receive daily notification of your child’s lateness.

Letters will be sent regarding continued lateness and a repeated pattern of lateness for any child would automatically be referred to the Education Welfare Officer.

What happens if my child continues to be absent or arrives late regularly?

We work closely with our Education Welfare Officer and set regular dates for Attendance and Lateness meetings. Attendance and Punctuality Panels are arranged for continued poor attendance and punctuality. In our policy, we have detailed our procedures for dealing with poor attendance and punctuality.