Soho Parish Primary

Soho Parish Primary

Term time absence

Absence and Holidays in term time

Occasionally, non-medical absence may be authorised if there are exceptional circumstances affecting a family, such as a bereavement. Parents should discuss this with the Class Teacher, Headteacher or School Administrator at the earliest possible stage.

For any planned absence, parents should fill in an Absence Request form and return it to the office in person or via email (

Holidays in term-time

There are 12 weeks of school holidays per year, and additional holidays should not be taken in term time. Any holiday taken in term-time will be unauthorised and may result in further action.

We understand that some families have relatives in distant parts of the world, and that occasionally they may wish to make extended trips abroad. We urge all parents to inform us if they are contemplating such a visit and will work with parents to try and agree a timetable which minimises the child’s absence from school.

Religious observance

We authorise absence for religious observance in line with Local Authority guidance. We cannot normally authorise more than a single day’s absence for any individual religious holiday. Parents should inform the school in advance if their child will be absent to observe a religious festival. Such absences will be unauthorised if the school has not been informed in advance.

Persistent Absenteeism (PA):

A pupil becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ (PA) when they are absent from school for 10% or more across the school year for whatever reason. The reasons can be both authorised and unauthorised.

Absence at this level will do considerable damage to any child’s educational achievement and future prospects. We will need the full support and co-operation of all parents to tackle this.

  • We will monitor all absence thoroughly. If your child’s attendance has reached or is in danger of reaching the PA level we will inform you immediately and make the case a priority. Pupils who have reached the PA level will be tracked and monitored carefully through our pastoral system and we will combine this with academic mentoring where absence is seen to affect progress and attainment.
  • All PA pupils and their parents will be subject to an action plan and the plan may include: the allocation of additional support through a mentor or a connexions worker, individual programmes and participation in group activities around raising attendance. All PA pupils will be referred to the Westminster Attendance Officer.

Action to address attendance / punctuality concerns

Any child whose rate of attendance and/or punctuality falls below 95% may be regarded as cause for concern unless there is a valid reason for the absence (eg a single illness such as chickenpox). Where a concern is identified, the Learning Mentor will liaise with the parents to discuss any barriers to attendance, and agree an improvement plan, with interventions if appropriate. Our aim is always to work together with families in a positive way to overcome barriers.

If a parent fails to cooperate with the school in overcoming attendance problems, the school may refer the case to the Education Welfare Service, and may eventually issue a Fixed Penalty Notice against the parent.