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St Cecilia Catholic

OFSTED Outstanding



We want all of our pupils to have success in school and success in later life.  Good attendance in school is essential. Good learners attend school.

We aim to achieve good attendance by operating a policy within which staff, pupils, parents, the Education Welfare Service and others can work in partnership.

The School will monitor attendance and ensure quick and early intervention if/when a problem is identified.


For all queries about attendance please email us at absence@stcecilias.school

The School promotes good attendance by: 

  • Developing a positive classroom climate in which a positive group identity produces welcoming lessons.
  • Having high expectations of prompt attendance throughout the school day.
  • Collecting and analysing data to highlight trends with regard to cohort, gender, subject and to set targets where necessary.
  • Ensuring that attendance is a feature of assessment data sent to parents/carers.
  • Monitoring lateness.
  • Reducing the number of persistent absentees (PA) (pupils with an attendance below 90%)

Pupils are expected to attend school for the full 190 days each year unless there is a good reason for absence.

Although being absent cannot always be helped as we all do become ill from time to time, please take a look at the table below to show you exactly how much time your child could be missing.

365 Days in a Year 190 School Days in Total Absence
100% Attendance 190 Days 0

95% Attendance

180 Days

2 Weeks
90% Attendance 171 Days 4 Weeks
85% Attendance 161 Days 6 Weeks
80% Attendance 152 Days More than half a term
75% Attendance 143 Days 9+ Weeks

Where a pupil is absent from school the school must differentiate between authorised and unauthorised absence. By law, only the school can approve absence, not parents. Generally the school will accept an explanation as to why a student may be absent. However, in certain circumstances, we may require further evidence to justify the explanation e.g. high level of absence for minor health reasons, unusual patterns of absence for instance the same day each week or frequent broken weeks or, where unauthorised leave of absence has been taken.

Requesting absence from school for your child

Apart from illness, permission for absence from school must be requested in advance.  Holidays are not permitted in term time and cannot be authorised.

To request permission for an absence please email the Head Teacher at absence@stcecilias.school  To inform our decision, your child's previous attendance will be taken into account.  Please note that permission will not be granted where absence levels are already below 95%.

Medical appointments

Medical appointments need to be notified in advance to absence@stcecilias.school.  The school will then enter the code M if the child arrives late to school after an appointment.  Where the school is not informed in advance and a hospital or doctors letter is not provided without request, the code U will be used, late after the register has closed.

Religious observance

Time for religious and holy festivals, including weddings, can be granted.  These are for short one or two day absences and not for extended periods of time.  The register code B is used for these authorised absences.  Permission needs to be sought in advance.

Travel for time with relatives - domestic and international

We are an international school population and therefore receive many applications to travel for extended periods of time, over long weekends and for extended periods over standard holiday times.  Many families travel to visit relatives.  Many requests are for travel to visit sick or elderly relatives abroad, often on an annual basis.  Leave for travel, in the vast majority of cases, is unauthorised on your child's record.  With a holiday period every six or seven weeks, the Government expectation is that all travel be completed in holiday periods.  Unauthorised absence does not present an immediate issue except for when a child is already a persistent absentee and the parent has received a notice of this.

Penalty notices may be issued where a parent has been notified that their child is a persistent absentee and has a poor attendance pattern with unauthorised absences.  Notices are issued by the London Borough of Sutton, not the school.  For more information see the information in the Penalty notice document below.

Nursery pupils

There is greater flexibility for leave for children who have not yet started in Reception Class and holidays in term time can be authorised.  Where parents are on a part payment programme with us the payments will need to continue during the child's absence.  Holiday requests for 2023/24 will be updated and corrected where holidays were previously noted as unauthorised.

Information at your fingertips with the Arbor App and Portal

You can find your child's full attendance record on the Arbor App, available to all parents.  This can be downloaded from the Appstore or Google Play Store.  You can also view your child's record through the Parent Portal on a PC or Mac.  You must use the email address registered on the school account to gain access to your child's data.

Click here for the Arbor help page

The Attendance Summary page will load a breakdown of the student's attendance for the current academic year.

The Statistics Section will show both the number of sessions and the percentage the student has for each mark.

  • The Recent Attendance section will show both the number of sessions and the percentage of 'present marks' for the current week.
  • Possible Attendance: This number shows the total amount of sessions (registers) the student should attend for the current academic year.
  • Present: This section shows the total amount of registers the student attended and the percentage of 'present marks' for the current academic year.
  • Late: This section shows the total amount of times the student was late for a register. 
  • Authorised Absent: This section shows the number of times the student has marked as absent.
  • Unauthorised Absent: This section shows the number of times the student has marked as absent, however, these absences were not approved by the school.

At St. Cecilia's Catholic Primary School, we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in all circumstances and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. To read more about our commitment to safeguarding please view our safeguarding policy.