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Attendance Matters

At Cathedral Primary School we are committed to providing all of our pupils with a full-time education which maximises opportunities for every pupil to realise their full potential. We do our best to provide a welcoming, caring environment, whereby each member of the school community feels secure and at home. It is important for us all to improve attendance at our school, which then improves the overall school experience for all our pupils. Our target for this academic year is to achieve 96% attendance.

Why attend every day?

Good attendance gives your child the best opportunity of success and helps develop skills for life. Your child should attend school every day unless there is an unavoidable cause. Evidence shows there is a clear link between a pupil’s attendance and their success.

Missing school damages pupils’ learning, disrupts routines for themselves and their classmates, and can make them feel isolated from their peers. Pupils should never miss school for reasons such as holidays, birthdays, tiredness, mild illness or to care for a family member.

The Education Welfare Service monitors our attendance. They become involved when any child has poor attendance. 


What if my child is ill? 

In the event of sickness, or unplanned absence for other reasons, it is essential for parents/carers to telephone Cathedral Primary School before 8.45am on each day of absence (0117 353 2052 option 1), giving the reason for absence.

If your child is feeling under the weather they can still come to school. Children are often missing valuable learning opportunities due to mild illness. If your child is absent from school for a long period of time due to illness, we may ask for medical evidence to be provided. If you are unsure if you should send your child to school, please phone and ask, we are always happy to help. 

What if I want to take my child on holiday? 

Holidays during term time are not allowed. Permission for any planned absence from school must be sought from the Head Teacher and Governing Body. 

A request must be made in writing via our online form, explaining the intended absence, circumstances for the absence and the length of the absence. This request form can be found on our 'Letters & Forms' page of the website, or click here for a direct link - CPS Absence Request Form 2023-24

A maximum of 2 days authorisation for an exceptional circumstance may be given. 

Exceptional circumstances include: 

  • Bereavement 
  • Spending time with a terminally ill parent /sibling 
  • To attend a close family funeral 
  • Close family wedding 
  • Religious observance 

Please see the school attendance policy for further details. This can be found on the school’s website under ‘About Us’ then ‘Policies’ or ask at the school office for a copy. 


The doors are opened at 8.30am so that children can arrive and greet their teacher and friends and prepare themselves ready for a day of learning. If your son/daughter arrives after 8.40am then they are late. They will need to register with the office staff and go straight into their lesson or assembly. This means they would have missed out on this valuable social start to the day.

Penalty Notice

 Penalty Notices What is a Penalty Notice? 

Parents/carers commit an offence if a child doesn't attend school regularly and the absence has not been authorised by the school. In these cases the school may issue a Penalty Notice to be paid within 28 days. If payment is not made within this time, you may face the possibility of prosecution. 

Cathedral Primary School has been advised to join the majority of other schools in Bristol and request Penalty Notices. 

When will they be used? 

Examples of unauthorised absences that may trigger a Penalty Notice being issued include: 

  • Holiday during term time 
  • A pupil accruing 8 or more unauthorised absences in a 10 week period. This may be 8 half days or 4 full days, consecutively OR non-consecutively 

If a child arrives after 9.15am and misses registration then the whole morning session is recorded as an unauthorised absence. 

If it is unavoidable for your child to attend a dentist, doctors or hospital appointment please make sure your child comes to school before and after the appointment. If they are here for morning and afternoon registration then they will still get their attendance mark. Please produce the appointment card/letter as proof of absence. If the school authorises your child’s absence in advance, or otherwise accepts your explanation for an absence, the absence is an authorised absence. All other absences are unauthorised.

How much is a Penalty Notice? 

The penalty is payable Per Parent / Per Child. 

£120 if paid within 28 days, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days 

To avoid prosecution the penalty must be paid within 28 days and is reduced if paid within 21 days. 

What happens if I don’t pay a Penalty Notice? 

If payment is not received within 28 days of the notice being issued, the local authority is required to begin proceedings in the Magistrates Court for the original offence of unauthorised absence by your child. 

This could result in a fine of up to £1000, and/or a Parenting Orders, Community Sentences or other sanction.