Whilst much has changed within our school community as a result of coronavirus, we remain committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for all of our pupils.

To achieve this, we must work together. You have a vital role to play in your child’s success. Now more than ever, as we look to recover from lockdown, children need to be in school. The first step to academic success is establishing excellent attendance habits. Student attendance is critical to achievement at all age levels.

St Joseph’s is committed to working with all of our families to ensure that students are able to strive for outstanding attendance. If you are aware of a circumstance impacting your child’s ability or willingness to attend school, then please make contact with their Form Tutor to discuss this as soon as possible.


Students sitting at tables in a classroom



It is required that contact is made with school every day that a child is absent unless otherwise arranged with the Attendance Officer. We ask please that contact is made with the school before 09:00. There are two methods of communication through which to do this.

  • Option 1 (preferred): E-mail explaining student absence to
  • Option 2: Phone call to school reception on 01722 335380

Please do not reply to text messages sent via the SchoolComms system, as these responses are not monitored. If you need to make contact regarding a student absence, please use one of the above methods.


Any absences which are known about in advance, such as doctor’s appointments, are to be sent to Please attach a copy of the paperwork for the appointment as soon as possible (such as hospital letter or appointment card). Please also clearly state what time your child will need to be signed out of school. All students must sign out of school at reception before leaving.


The following reasons for non-attendance will not be authorised, unless they are being investigated by your doctor:

  • Hay fever
  • Headaches
  • Tummy ache
  • Feeling sick
  • Toothache
  • Banged / stubbed toes
  • Blisters
  • Periods
  • Growing pain
  • Pain after having Orthodontic treatment, i.e. having braces fitted
  • Not slept well the night before
  • Nose bleeds
  • Brother or sister has been ill
  • Parent or sibling has Covid-19

After a form has been signed by a parent, we can keep Paracetamol on school premises for your child for all non-urgent illnesses. Please contact Reception for more details.


Unfortunately, even if absent for a medical appointment, a student is still classed as absent from school. This is beyond the school’s control. Please make appointments outside school hours where possible. If this is not possible, we recommend students attend school before and/or after the appointment, even if only briefly, before being signed out. This ensures that the impact on a child’s learning is minimal and their attendance will not be negatively impacted.


If your child is suffering with school-related anxiety that is impacting their ability or willingness to attend, then please speak to the school. There is support we can offer to help with this.

However, the most effective support to help understand and overcome school anxiety starts at home. There are many resources available online to support you with this – we recommend the YoungMinds parent guide as a starting point for information and guidance for supporting your child.

Poster showing attendance data


The expectation that students will not take holidays in term time (and therefore not miss school) is a national expectation, rather than just of the school. Permission for leave may only be granted under exceptional circumstances.

Requests must be submitted to Mrs Ridley, Headteacher, prior to any firm booking or arrangements being made, and at least two weeks prior to the first day of planned absence.


Any unauthorised absence of 5 days (10 sessions, either taken at once or cumulative) or more is liable to the issue of a penalty notice by the Local Authority. On a student’s return to school after such absence the school is required to report this unauthorised absence to the Local Authority.

Amendments to the 2007 Regulations in the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 came into force on 1st September 2013. Timescales for paying a penalty notice have been reduced: parents must now pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days.

Please note that penalty notices are sent to each person with parental responsibility, and for each child absent from school. This means, for example, that the minimum cost of taking two children out of school for a holiday of 5 days or more could be £120 for each parent, making a total cost for the family of £240.

Click here for Wiltshire guidance about Penalty Notices for Holidays Taken in Term Time.



We appreciate you working with us and your child to ensure their attendance is high. Here are a few tips to help you improve your child's attendance, and how to get some help if you need it.

Need further advice? Speak to Educational Welfare (01225 718 230) who will be able to offer further advice on getting your child to school or how to overcome specific attendance barriers.

Poster showing punctuality tips and advice


Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If your question hasn't been answered, don't hesitate to get in touch by emailing