St. Bernadette'sCatholic Primary SchoolWe Follow Jesus


Welcome toSt. Bernadette'sCatholic Primary SchoolWe Follow Jesus


Dear Parents,


Over the last 18 months or so, we have noticed a trend in attendance, resulting in our attendance figures dropping overall. This trend was picked up by Ofsted earlier this year and it is and area we are working hard to improve. With this in mind, please be aware that you will be sent a letter regarding your child’s attendance if it falls below 95%. Authorisation of any absence is at the discretion of the school Leadership Team; if your child is off for a medical reason then you will be asked to produce evidence (e.g. a doctor/dentist appointment card; a prescription; a hospital appointment letter etc.).


If you are unable to provide evidence then the absence may be recorded as unauthorised. Any absence below 90% puts children in the Persistent Absence category and is automatically reported to the Local Authority. If your child’s absence is giving cause for concern, then you will be contacted by the Education Welfare Officer and may be asked to attend a Parent Meeting at school with both the EWO and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. The Education Welfare Office monitors attendance on a weekly basis and, in order to comply with Walsall’s Local Codes for issuing Penalty Notices, I am obliged to refer all incidents of unauthorised attendance, affecting children of compulsory school age, to the Local Authority, who will consider issuing a Penalty Notice. Penalty Notice fines are set at £60 per parent and are applicable per child. This means that two parents with two children whose attendance is poor, would be fined a total of £240.


Both our school and the Local Authority are committed to continual educational improvement and we value education for each and every child. This not only applies to attainment, as absence can also impact on social development. There are a number of case studies that demonstrate children can feel isolated when they return from a holiday absence, as their friendship groups have been unsettled. It is also disruptive for other children, as the class teachers are helping children catch up on work they have missed whilst on holiday.

Attendance during school year Equivalent Days Missed Equivalent Sessions (2 per day) Equivalent Weeks Equivalent Lessons Missed
95% 9 days  18 sessions 2 weeks 50 lessons
90% 19 days 38 sessions 4 weeks 100 lessons
85% 29 days 58 sessions 6 weeks 150 lessons
75% 48 days 96 sessions 10 weeks 250 lessons


There is no surprise that any absence, even for relatively short periods of time, has a detrimental impact on outcomes. I therefore ask you to help us with the ever increasing demands on raising attainment, by ensuring your children attend school regularly.


Yours sincerely

J Richmond

Executive Head Teacher