15th  November 2018

Dear Parents/Carers


During the last academic year the average attendance of pupils at St James remained above the national average. It is not a surprise that as attendance improves at a school, both academic and non-academic achievements also improve. This can be evidenced by our SATs results and sporting achievements last year. Thank you for your continued support.

Whilst we acknowledge that there will be times when absence is unavoidable and acceptable, we need to work on lowering the frequency of unauthorised absence. We are aiming for average attendance of at least 97% for the 2018/19 academic year.

The issue of unauthorised absence due to holidays is still a real cause for concern. Therefore, we would like to remind you of the law in relation to term time holidays. Only the school can authorise absence which will be granted only where there are exceptional circumstances. Holidays are not exceptional.

The dates of all of our school terms are published on our website well in advance of the academic year and it is the responsibility of parents and carers to refer to these dates and finalise any holiday plans accordingly.

Our policies and guidance on attendance, punctuality and absenteeism are also all available on the website for ease of reference and transparency.

As a School we are legally obligated to monitor attendance and identify pupils whose attendance drop below the expected level. We have a duty of care, shared with the Local Authority, to challenge poor attendance and/or persistent absenteeism, and to seek explanation and resolve.

Our school vision is for every child to leave us as an independent, lifelong learner. Everyone’s attitude to attendance is critical in securing our vision for the benefit of our pupils.

It really is important to remember that every school day counts. Unbroken attendance at school is obviously important for learning, but also for the development and social wellbeing of our pupils.

The monitoring of attendance will remain a priority at St James.

Should you have any questions about attendance please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Yours sincerely

Catherine Tysoe

Chair of Governors

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