Scroll to content
St Edward's Roman Catholic Primary School Darwen home page

St Edward'sRoman Catholic Primary School


What do I do if my child is sick?

You should contact school on the first day of absence and each day thereafter BEFORE 08:30 A.M  on 01254 701616


If your child falls below 92% attendance you will be invited in to school for a meeting with the attendance officer and the Deputy Headteacher or Headteacher. The purpose of the meeting is to establish the reasons for the attendance and to establish a way forward.

Green Pupils with attendance between 100% and 96%


Amber Green Pupils with attendance between 96% and 94%


Amber-Red Pupils with attendance between 93% and 91%


Red Pupils with attendance below 90%



Regular school attendance is the key to enabling children to maximise their educational opportunities and to become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults.


We will work with families to identify the reasons for poor attendance and try to resolve any difficulties.


We recognise that attendance is a matter for the whole school community and that poor attendance can be indicative of a number of underlying problems. Our Attendance Policy should not be viewed in isolation; it is a strand that runs through all aspects of school improvement.


A clear focus on attendance also reflects our child protection and safeguarding duties as set out in the statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfE 2023)



To maintain high levels of attendance we would like to highlight the following points:

  • You will be giving your child the best possible chance to reach his/her potential if s/he attends school regularly and on time.
  • The Headteacher is not permitted to grant any leave of absence during term unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  •  Holiday leave would not be considered an exceptional circumstance.
  • If exceptional circumstances arise, a request must be sought in writing, before the absence.
  • In those cases where permission is not granted, your child will be considered absent without authorisation. This may result in  action being taken against a parent/carer. Under the anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, an authorised officer of the City Council has the power to issue each parent/carer with a Penalty Notice for each of their children who do not attend school regularly. Failure to pay a Penalty Notice may result in prosecution.
  • The school monitors attendance carefully and uses the data in a number of ways, including picking up any problems a child might be experiencing at school or at home. Teachers will talk to children and parents/carers if they suspect a problem to try to resolve the issue and improve attendance.
  • Parents/carers are encouraged to alert class teachers if their child appears reluctant to attend school.

Attendance at St Edward's in the academic year 2022-23 was above average at all times.  We pride ourselves on the commitment of parents to ensuring that their child maintains good attendance.


Discretionary leave of absence during term time

In accordance with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, head teachers may no longer grant pupils any leave of absence during term-time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ relating to the request, and parents / carers have made an application in advance.

  • Leave of absence is granted entirely at the Head teacher’s discretion and is not a parental right.
  • Headteachers cannot grant any leave of absence during term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances surrounding the application and an application has been made by parents/carers in advance.
  • Schools are not allowed to grant retrospective approval and if parents did not apply for leave of absence in advance, the absence must be recorded as unauthorised.
  • In the event that a Head teacher is satisfied there are exceptional circumstances which warrant them approving leave, it is the Head teacher who will determine the number of days a child can be away from school, after considering the child’s attainment, attendance and ability to catch-up on missed lessons.
  • If you are considering asking permission for your child to be granted leave of absence from school, please think very carefully. Missing out on lessons will always have a negative impact on your child’s educational progress.
  • All schools within Blackburn with Darwen are committed to working with parents and carers to provide the best educational opportunities for all pupils. It is widely understood that children make the best progress through regular and punctual school attendance.
  • When a child is absent from school, valuable teaching and learning time is lost and it is often very difficult to make up for gaps in individual pupils’ learning.

If a head teacher is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to warrant the granting of leave of absence, the head teacher will then determine the number of school days that can be authorised.

Parents / carers are liable to be issued with a penalty notice (one penalty per parent, per child) in respect of their children’s unauthorised leave of absence from school.



If you decide to proceed with an application, first contact your child’s school to arrange a meeting. This will give you an early opportunity to discuss your plans and to get hold of an application form for requesting leave of absence. Please remember to do this well in advance and you are strongly advised not to book a holiday without first completing an application form and getting prior approval from school.

Always give a date when your child will be returning to school. If leave is granted, but your child does not return within 10 school days of the agreed date, the Head teacher has the power to remove your child’s name from the school roll and there is no guarantee that a place will still be available at the same school when you return. It is very important to keep in contact with your child’s school if there is any change to your expected return date.

Your child’s head teacher will confirm in writing to you whether or not your application has been successful and, in cases where leave is approved, the number of days off school being granted.
In law, parents of registered pupils of compulsory school age have a responsibility to ensure that their children attend school both punctually and regularly.

A child reaches compulsory school age after their fifth birthday through until the last Friday in June of the school year (normally Year 11) that they reach sixteen. Young people are not allowed to leave school on their 16th birthday or when they receive their national insurance number.

Parents/carers who take a child on unauthorised leave of absence in term-time without school permission are likely to be issued with an education penalty notice by the Council. Penalty notices may also be issued in cases where children are absent from school for longer than was approved by the Head Teacher and do not return on the prior agreed date. The penalty charge is £60 per parent, per child, if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid within 28 days of receipt of the Notice.

Where a penalty notice remains unpaid after 28 days, the Council will normally start legal proceedings in the Magistrates Court.

For more information please contact us:

Change to penalty notices from September 2024