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St Edward's College

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Maintaining Attendance

We at St Edward's are aiming for excellent attendance and punctuality for all of our pupils and students; regular attendance is not just a legal requirement, but it is vital for pupils and students to maximise their learning and achieve their full potential during their time at the College.

Our Attendance Officer is Mrs Wadsworth whose role is to prioritise excellent attendance and punctuality and work with families and pupils to achieve this. 

There are a number of important steps that you can take to ensure your child maintains a high level of attendance and punctuality:

  • Ensure your child attends every day, on time, equipped and ready to learn. Lessons begin at 8.45am.
  • If your child is ill, ensure you call the Absence Line on 0151 254 7444 by 08.30 at the latest. Please make sure you call every day your child is absent. 
  • Alternatively, you can e-mail attendance@st-edwards.co.uk to report an absence. Again, this must be sent by 08.30 at the latest. Note, e-mails regarding absence will only be accepted from the registered e-mail address on your child's records.
  • If no contact is received regarding the absence, it is recorded as unauthorised. A text will be sent home before 10.00 requesting you to contact the Attendance Officer immediately.
  • Ultimately the school is responsible for deciding if the absence is acceptable or not. Only genuine absence will be authorised. You will be asked to provide medical certificates if your child has a poor attendance record.
  • Whenever possible please make all medical appointments outside of school hours. If an appointment is made in school time your child should come to school first and/ or return after their appointment. For planned medical appointments please ensure a copy of the appointment (slip or letter) is sent in with your child to show when signing in or out at Reception or the absence may be unauthorised.
  • Holidays should not be taken in school time and will not be authorised during term time.
  • We understand that pupils and students do have to take time off school for illness but ask that Parents/Carers do not allow their child to miss school for minor ailments. The NHS have produced this handy guide to help you: 


The Importance of Excellent Attendance

We expect all pupils and students to aim for 100% attendance. This is the minimum figure at which your child can gain their best possible achievements. 

The experience at St Edward’s College is that there is a very strong correlation between a pupil’s attendance at school and academic performance and progress.  

The relationship between attendance and progress is striking. The Progress measure encapsulates a pupil’s progress from Key Stage 2 (i.e. the end of primary school) to GCSE. A positive score indicates a faster rate of progress than expected; such that a score of +0.5 indicates that a pupil has achieved one half of a grade higher, on average, in every GCSE examination than their Key Stage 2 results predicted. 

The table shows that, on average, the 200 pupils whose attendance was 98% or better in Year 11 secured over half a grade higher in every subject than would be predicted given their prior attainment. 

Conversely, the 48 pupils whose attendance was below 90% underperformed by more than two thirds of a GCSE grade, significantly worse that those pupils with higher attendance. 

Bluntly, a 10% differential in attendance (one day per fortnight) correlates with well over one full GCSE grade in every subject.  In terms of preparation for A Levels, University and employment, a one grade differential in every subject is hugely significant and can damage a pupil’s life chances. 

Good attendance is also vitally important in building relationships and friendships in school. It means pupils do not feel under pressure or at a loss if they have missed work. While our staff will work hard to help pupils and students catch up, it will never be the same as being present at the missed lessons.

Employers greatly value good attendance and punctuality and getting into the routine of learning at school each day is a good grounding and sets up habits which will last for life and increase the future opportunities for your child.

Rewarding Excellent Attendance

We have launched a new Attendance initiative to reward pupils who have excellent attendance as part of our House rewards system:

Persistent Absenteeism

The Government requires schools to measure attendance by 'Persistent Absenteeism', which is defined as the number of times your child is absent during the year.

A pupil is defined as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ if they miss approximately 10% or more of all possible school sessions (one morning or afternoon in school), regardless of whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised. This is based on their individual absence level, not by comparison to a national threshold. 

Persistent Absence is a serious issue and if your child falls into this category they will be referred immediately to our School Attendance and Welfare Officer (depending on reasons behind absences). This could result in Prosecution under Section 444 of the Children's Act and /or a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued. Fines resulting from Prosecution can be up to £2,500 and possibly even imprisonment.

The law is there to protect children who have poor school attendance. Unauthorised absence from school can be a cause for concern in relation to child welfare, safety and protection. Under the Education Act 1996, parents and carers have a legal duty to secure their child’s regular and punctual attendance at school. As well as being a legal requirement, it also ensures your child has access to the best start in life and that they are able to benefit fully from the education they’re entitled to receive. Good attendance is vital in enabling pupils to maximise the opportunities available to them.

  • Please don’t let your child miss out on the education they deserve.
  • Every school day counts.
  • It is vital that parents or carers work with us when a child is near the 10% persistent absence threshold to prevent emerging patterns of absence.