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Excellence Everyday

Attendance Matters Our Vision

 We are an attendance inclusive school and you as parents/carers play a key role in this.  Attendance is everyone's responsibility and working together is key to successful attendance.

Every second, every minute, every hour and every day is essential to our children succeeding and thriving.

At Ashurst we want to work together to ensure every child accesses learning each day, supporting their academic progress and unlocking their potential.

We will work with you and believe our positive relationships with our children and positive connections support our children in thriving at Ashurst.

PATHS is also used as part of daily check ins to support and empower our children giving positive experiences to start  the day and enabling our children to build positive relationships.

Staff at Ashurst will provide a supportive environment, build positive relationships and understand each individual child at Ashurst. We will also work with our families to ensure attendance is a priority resulting in our children thriving and receiving a quality educational offer loving their learning.


Mrs D. Craven

Attendance Champion - Senior Leader & Pastoral Manager

Why is attendance important? 

For most pupils, the best place to be during term-time in is school, surrounded by the support of their friends and teachers.

This is important not just for your child’s learning, but also for their overall wellbeing, wider development and their mental health.

We’re working with schools and local councils to improve attendance, including by introducing a new data visualisation tool to make it easier to analyse attendance, spot issues and intervene more quickly. Read more about what we’re doing to help schools improve attendance here.


Ashurst Primary School Attendance Target is 96%. This is in line with the Government's national expectations.


The school office will contact parents/carers in the morning as part of our first response where the reasons for absence have not been reported to us.  Weekly checks on individual attendance are carried out, and families whose attendance is causing concern are requested to attend meetings with members Mrs D. Craven (Pastoral Manager) and our Educational Welfare Officer.

Please be aware that if your child's attendance causes concern and they are at risk of becoming a persistent absentee.  School will make you aware of this and invite you in for a meeting as part of us supporting and building positive relationships with you to improve attendance.

If your child falls below 90% they are classed as being a persistent absentee.  School will make a referral to Educational Welfare at this point. Letters will be issued half termly to notify you if your child falls below 92%.

Thank you to all parents and carers for continuing to really work hard with the school to make sure that their children are in school every day. This is something we are really passionate about as we meet our school target of 96%.


School Attendance - St Helens Council

From August 2024 new rules will be in place nationally regarding holidays taken term time.  Any holiday in term time will not be authorised, this is due to the detrimental impact this has on children's progress and learning.  When children are absent from school they miss essential learning and this results in gaps in their knowledge and understanding which in turn affects their academic progress and causes emotional upset as they fall behind their peers.

Holidays should be taken at the designated holiday dates which can be found on the school website to support with planning of holidays and avoid our children missing vital education.


Important Information

From August 2024 penalties will be issued for holidays taken in term in time with 10 sessions (5 days missed). This is line with St Helens Council updated procedures and rules and the Dfe announcement to improve school attendance as detailed below.

Fines for parents for taking children out of school: What you need to know – The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk)

How much could I be fined if my child misses school?  

In the majority of cases, schools and local authorities will try and provide support to help you improve your child’s attendance first, but if this isn’t effective or the absence is for unauthorised term time holiday, parents may face paying a fine.

Currently, it’s the responsibility of the local authority to decide when to issue fines to parents, meaning the process varies from council to council.

However, under the new national framework, all schools will be required to consider a fine when a child has missed 10 or more sessions (5 days) for unauthorised reasons.

From August 2024, the fine for school absences across the country will be £80 if paid within 21 days, or £160 if paid within 28 days.

This rate is in line with inflation and is the first increase since 2012.

In the case of repeated fines, if a parent receives a second fine for the same child within any three-year period, this will be charged at the higher rate of £160.

Fines per parent will be capped to two fines within any three-year period. Once this limit has been reached, other action like a parenting order or prosecution will be considered.

If you’re prosecuted and attend court because your child hasn’t been attending school, you could get a fine of up to £2,500.

Money raised via fines is only used by the local authority to cover the costs of administering the system, and to fund attendance support. Any extra money is returned to the government.

How can you be sure parent fines are fair?

Fines are a last resort, and parents will be offered support to help improve their child’s attendance first. The vast majority of fines for unauthorised absence (89%) are issued for term time holidays.

If your child is facing barriers to school attendance due to special education needs or disabilities (SEND), schools, local authorities and wider services are required to work together to provide the right support in the first place.


What if my child needs to miss school? 

Your child must attend every day that the school is open, unless:

  • Your child is too ill to attend that day.
  • You have asked in advance and been given permission by the school for your child to be absent on that day due to exceptional circumstances.
  • Your child cannot attend school on that day because it is a day you are taking part in religious observance.
  • Your local authority is responsible for arranging your child’s transport to school and it is not available on that day or has not been provided yet.
  • You are a gypsy/traveller family with no fixed abode, and you are required to travel for work that day meaning your child cannot attend their usual school.

What happens if my child misses school without a good reason? 

If your child is absent and you haven’t received advance permission from the headteacher to take your child out of school, the school and local council may take action.

Before that, your child’s school and your local council are expected to support you to improve the child’s attendance before any measures are put in place.

These measures can include:

  • Issue a fixed penalty notice, otherwise known as a ‘fine’ – your local council can give each parent a fine. If you do not pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.
  • Seek an Education Supervision Order from the family court – if the council thinks you need support getting your child to go to school but you’re not co-operating, they can apply to a court for an Education Supervision Order. A supervisor will be appointed to help you get your child into education. The local council can do this instead of, or as well as, prosecuting you.
  • Prosecute you – this means you have to go to court. You could get a fine, a community order or a jail sentence up to 3 months. The court could also give you a Parenting Order.

 2024 - Attendance Policy.pdfDownload
 Traffic Light Attendance Leaflet...pdfDownload
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