Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you know, excellent attendance is vital in order for children to do well at school. This is why at St George’s we have a minimum target of 95% attendance.

We expect every child to achieve an attendance rate of at least 95%. That means they should be absent for less than 10 days over the entire year.

We know that most of our families try very hard to make sure their child’s attendance is good. However, there are some children with very poor attendance records whose education is being damaged as a result. In addition, these children’s absence means that the teacher then has to try and make up the learning they have missed so it also has an impact on other children.

In light of this, and following discussion with our governors, we are now taking the following actions which are in line with our Attendance Policy which is published on our website, and the Department of Education’s Working together to improve school attendance guidance which comes into effect from 18th August 2024.

1. Unauthorised absence due to holidays or a child going abroad for other reasons in term time:

We know that most of you are very responsible and take your holidays when school has broken up.

If you need to take your child out of school during term time for whatever reason, you must come to the school office and ask for a request for special leave form. You will need to explain why it is necessary for your child to miss school and evidence may be requested from you.

These reasons will be taken in to account when deciding whether or not to authorise your request. A maximum of 10 days only is allowed and this is at the discretion of the school. If you take your child overseas or on holiday without authorisation, or if you take more days than agreed, the school will seek a penalty notice which will be issued by Southwark.

2. Unauthorised absence resulting from long term poor attendance:

1.If your child is absent from school due to being ill – which we do understand happens – please contact the school office or report via the Parent app or via email on the first day of absence to let us know. We may ask for evidence.

2.If your child’s attendance falls below 90% you will be sent a letter asking you to make sure it improves immediately.

3.If it remains below 90% you will be called to meet with the Head of School to agree a plan to improve your child’s attendance and we will offer support, if needed, to help improve attendance levels.

4.If you do not come to this meeting or your child’s attendance still does not improve after this meeting we will refer you to the Education Inclusion Team who will support the school to first discuss what the barriers are to regular attendance and what solutions are best for you and your family. If there are still no improvements then the Education Inclusion Team may look to begin a legal process including a penalty notice charge and/or taking you to court.


Learning starts at 8.45 a.m. every day. Children need to be in their class line at 8.40 a.m. so that they can start their lessons promptly. Children who arrive late are greatly disadvantaged because they miss starting the day with their peers and the beginning of lessons. This means that they are often unsettled and confused about tasks. Their teacher will not always be able to re-explain work.

It is also very important that children establish good routines and habits in preparation for the rest of their lives. Punctuality is a life skill that they need to develop whilst they are young.

It is essential that you ensure that your child arrives at school on time to prevent disruption to your child’s own learning and that of others.

We are required to monitor children’s punctuality and attendance. On-going lateness (after the class register has been taken) is classified as an unauthorised lateness and this is contrary to The Education Act. 1996. It is very important that you contact the school to advise that you are running late and what time you expect your child to arrive at school.

High levels of unauthorised absences or poor punctuality can result in a referral to the Educational Inclusion Team or other agencies which have a duty to investigate further and could result in legal action being taken against you.

Please see below diagram

Late Collection from School

It is very important that all children should be collected on time at the end of the school day or from any after school activity. Regularly requesting to take children out of school early for any reason is not acceptable without the permission of the Head Teacher who may grant permission in exceptional circumstances. Where late collection is persistent and/or significantly late, the school is obliged to take any uncollected pupil to a place of safety i.e. the local police station or Social Care. Any and all late collections will be recorded and we will share concerns with other agencies including the Southwark Early Intervention Team (formally Social Services).

We understand that there may be rare occasions when you are late due to unforeseen circumstances. On these occasions please make sure that you contact the school office to inform us when you will arrive or that you have made alternative arrangements for collection.

Finally, we are here to help. If you are experiencing difficulties with your child’s attendance or particularly if they are having health problems, please talk to us. We will be able to discuss the issue and find ways to support you.