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Term Dates, School Day, Attendance

Term Dates 2022 - 2023 

Term Dates 2023 - 2024

The School Day 

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children can enter their classroom at 8:45am to start their morning activity. The bell goes and the day starts at 9am. The days ends at 3:30pm. Children should be collected from their classroom door. This equates to 6 and a half hours a day.

Year 3,4,5 and 6 children can enter their classroom at 8:40am to start their morning activity. The bell goes and the day starts at 8:50am. The day ends at 3:25pm. Children should be collected from their classroom doors. This equates to 6 and a half hours a day.

The times for infant and junior drop off and collection times are different to enable parents to move between departments to be on time to collect their child. All children are in school for 32.5 hours a week. 

Attendance Guidance

Please note that holidays must be taken during half term. If a holiday is taken during term time, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.  In addition, we cannot authorise a pupil leaving school early to travel. Headteachers can only authorise absences in exceptional circumstances. 

Good attendance is important because pupils:

  • get on better with learning and other children;
  • cope better with school routines, work and friendships;
  • find learning easier because they do not miss out;
  • are more successful moving between primary school and secondary school;
  • are known to be safe and well by us.

Research shows a direct correlation between high attendance and attaining well at school. All children have the right to an education. We encourage and expect excellent attendance for all pupils. Where necessary, we check that pupils join video lessons and/or complete tasks during any remote learning. 

We will:

  • tell pupils and parents the importance of being at school;
  • check that pupils are at school every day;
  • follow up and check the absence of persistent non-attenders;
  • aim for an attendance rate of at least 97%. 


  • by law, must ensure that their child attends school;
  • should arrange dental and doctor’s appointments out of school hours or during school holidays, whenever possible;
  • make sure that their child arrives on time between 8.45am-9am infants and 8.50am-9:05am juniors, when classroom doors are open for ‘soft-start’;
    • or if they arrive after 9am, sign-in at the school office;
  • should contact the school on the first day their child is away from school.

Pupils should arrive and be collected from school on time:

  • registration is at 9/9.05am for all children from Reception to Year 6.  Pupils can go straight to their classroom from 8.45am during ‘soft-start’ until 9am infants and 8:50am-9.05am juniors
  • late arrival can cause children to feel anxious or upset;
  • we contact parents of pupils who have patterns of lateness to talk about how to arrive and/or be collected on time.

Absence during term-time

Parents should:

  • call the absence line, 01619118040, on the first morning of all absences before 9.30am, telling us the reason for being away;or
  • send in a note - by hand or email – telling us the reason for being away when they return to school;
  • keep in touch by telephone, letter or email, if a child is away from school for a longer period;
  • tell us about any planned absences in advance. Only request leave of absence if it is for an exceptional circumstance. Complete the leave of absence form.

Every half-day absence must be labelled by the school as either ‘authorised’ or ‘unauthorised’:

  • Authorised absence. An absence is authorised when parents tell us an allowable reason for being away from school. Allowable reasons include:
    • being too unwell to come to school;
    • emergency medical or dental appointments;
    • religious events, when one day each year will be authorised;
    • tests or exams;
    • any other ‘exceptional circumstances’, explained below. 
  • Unauthorised absence. An absence is unauthorised when a child is away from school for reasons that are not allowed. Unauthorised reasons include:
    • parents keeping children off school unnecessarily,
    • absences that have not been properly explained,
    • travel during term-time, including family holidays, that have not been agreed,
    • repeated or persistent non-specific illness, for example, ‘poorly/unwell’,
    • absence of other siblings if one child is ill,
    • absence because a parent is ill,
    • oversleeping,
    • inadequate clothing/uniform,
    • confusion over school term and holiday dates,
    • medical and/or dental appointments of more than half a day without very good reason,
    • child’s and/or family birthdays,
    • any routine family event or trip,
    • where the reason for absence is given as illness and occurs either side of a school holiday, medical proof will be sought. Without this proof the absence will not be authorised.

Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children are properly educated.  When your child is registered at a school, parents, carers or guardians must ensure the regular and full-time attendance of their child.  

Attendance levels show our expectations and what happens next:

  • 97%+, expected attendance. This will help all aspects of a child’s achievement and life in school. This will give them a good start in life and supports a positive work ethic.
  • 97-91%, below expected attendance. As attendance falls, our concern increases. We follow our stepped approach to take action.
  • 90% or lower, persistent absence. Absence is causing serious concern. It is highly likely to affect attainment and progress and is disruptive to the child’s learning.  Meetings between home and school to share strategies for improvement will be called.  

For all children, we have a stepped approach to taking action. It will not always be appropriate to progress through all of these steps or even to carry them out in the order listed.

  • staff will use discretion and consider each case carefully;
  • where there has been no contact from parents, we will initiate first day calling for all pupils;
  • for pupils with attendance below 90% there will be a discussion with relevant parents and staff
  • we will monitor trends in pupil attendance and punctuality, including our vulnerable groups;
  • we will request for the parent/carer to meet school staff;
  • if appropriate, will initiate procedures to access support from other agencies including issuing fines where necessary.

School attendance parent guide

School attendance parent leaflet

Contact the School

St Vincent's Catholic Primary School

Orchard Road,
WA15 8EY

Main Contact: Headteacher Mrs Harrop

SEND Contact: Mrs Farrell and Mrs Sutton

Tel: 0161 911 8040



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