Burnley, St Peters CE Primary School

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10th July 20
Trail : home : Attendance


Persistent Absentee and Fixed Penality information


St Peter’s School attendance policy clearly explains the use of fixed penalty notices.


Particular attention should be given to the changes regarding Fixed Penalty Notices. The thresholds are 10 sessions (5 days) of unauthorised absence in any term or 20 sessions (10 days) over 2 consecutive terms, which could cover 2 academic years. This means that families could receive up to 3 fixed penalty notices in any academic year.


The current persistent absence threshold, of around 15 per cent, means a pupil has to be absent for 56 sessions (28 days) of school to be classified as persistently absent. This is a great deal of schooling to miss and, in the government’s opinion, setting the bar too high in this respect. From the beginning of this academic year, 2015 to 2016, the government is reducing the persistent absence threshold from 15 per cent to 10 per cent.


Currently persistently absent pupils are defined according to the absent sessions threshold – currently 56 or more sessions of absence for the full academic year.


The following table shows estimated cumulative absence sessions thresholds for 10 per cent.


Half-term 1

7 or more sessions

Half-term 1-2 (autumn term)

14 or more sessions

Half-term 1-3

20 or more sessions

Half-term 1-4 (autumn term and spring term combined)

25 or more sessions

Half-term 1-5

31 or more sessions

Half-term 1-6 (full academic year)

38 or more sessions


Leave of Absence Request Reminder


Headteachers cannot authorise any leave of absence during term time unless they are satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to warrant the granting of leave. Holidays, visiting relatives in this country or abroad, caring for sick relatives and birthdays are some examples that are not regarded as exceptional circumstances.




If your child is ill parents must provide a specific reason for illness when telephoning school. For example saying a child is “unwell” will not receive an authorised absence mark.



Many thanks to all the parents who ensure that their children attend school regularly, and on time. Regular and punctual attendance has proven to have a very positive effect on a child’s education and emotional wellbeing.

First Day Response


If your child is off school for any reason, it is very important that you ring us to let us know before 9.00am; there is usually someone in school from 8:00am each morning.  The reason for this is that we need to ensure the safety of all children who attend the school.


If your child is not in school by 9:30am and we do not know why, a member of staff will phone you to find out why.


We would like you to provide School with a current contact number and if possible the phone number of a relative or friend who we could phone. If your contact details change in anyway we ask that you tell us immediately so that we can amend our records and are able to contact you if needed.


So please, for safety’s sake……



Reducing Illness Days


When a child has a day off we must be notified by a parent or carer as to why.  This can be a note or a telephone call.  A child returning to school after an absence will be marked as unauthorised absence until we receive a valid explanation.

  • If your child is saying they do not feel well and you are unsure about whether it warrants a day off please send them to school.  If they are truly ill we will ring you. 
  • Use common sense when deciding whether or not your child is too ill to attend school. Ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Is my child well enough to do the activities of the school day?
  2. Does my child have a condition that could be passed on to other children or school staff?
  3. Would I take a day off work if I had this condition?
  • If your child has to have a medical or dental appointment in school time please do your best to have it after 2pm and then your child can have their registration mark for the afternoon before you pick them up. If it needs to be a morning appointment please try and bring them to school first to get their mark and then return them to school afterwards.


Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required.


Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness (where a child is too ill to attend school) medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause. The Department for Education guidance states "If the authenticity of illness is in doubt, schools can request parents to provide medical evidence to support illness. Schools can record the absence as unauthorised if not satisfied of the authenticity of the illness but should advise parents of their intention. Medical evidence can take the form of prescriptions, appointment cards, etc. rather than doctors’ notes."


Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no 'leave' has been given. This type of absence can lead to the Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings.