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Attendance And Punctuality

Cardinal Pole Catholic School seeks to ensure excellent school attendance and punctuality so that pupils can achieve and realise their potential and have full opportunities to be involved in all aspects of school life. We appreciate that your child may be unwell from time to time and that there can be exceptional circumstances for absence but we urge you to think carefully about keeping your child out of school. There is a strong connection between poor attendance and under achievement.

You can see in the table below how  percentage attendance relates to the number of days off school over the course of an academic year:

98% attendance

4 days absent from school

95% attendance

10 days absent from school (2 weeks)

90% attendance

19 days absent from school (4 weeks)

85% attendance

27.5 days absent from school (5.5 weeks)

80% attendance

38 days absent from school (7.5 weeks)

We expect every student to achieve over 95% attendance in the school year. From September 2015, the advice from the Department for Education is that any pupil with less than 90% attendance will be classed as a persistent absentee. Any persistent absentee will be referred to the Educational Welfare Service at Hackney Education.

What happens if your child is absent from school?

If your child is absent from school you will receive a text or phone call, unless you have already informed us that they will be absent. This is to ensure that you are aware that your child has not arrived at school.

If your child’s attendance drops below 95% you will receive a letter of concern and we will ask you to contact the school to discuss your child's attendance.

If your child’s attendance drops below 90% you will receive a further letter. It is likely that your child’s absence will be referred to the Educational Welfare Service and there may be statutory action taken.

If your child has more than 10 unauthorised absences in a half term, you will receive a warning letter from the Educational Welfare Officer at Hackney Education, and if the situation does not improve you may be fined.  

We want to work with you and your child to ensure optimum attendance and will do whatever we can to offer support where it is needed. We are able to refer you to a number of school and external support services that may be able to help.

What happens if your child is persistently late for school?

Students must be in school by 8.30am each morning and must be in their registration form groups no later than 8.35am. The school gate closes at 8.30am sharp. Registers will remain open until 9.05am.

If your child arrives between 8.35am and 9.05am, they will be marked late in the register (L). If they arrive after 9.05am, without an appropriate reason, they will be recorded as an unauthorised absence (U). 

Students who do not arrive at this time will be signed in as late at the front entrance. The sanction for being late to school will be the immediate loss of their break time on the day and if more than one late detention is set in the same week, the student will be referred to the two hour late detention on a Thursday.

Any student who arrives after 9am and whose parents/carers have not contacted the school to provide a reason for the lateness, this will be sanctioned for truancy.

Please contact the school's Attendance Officer, or the appropriate Head of Year, if you have concerns regarding your child’s attendance or want to discuss your particular situation.

Heads of Year are as follows:

Year 7 – Ms A Tiberi
Year 8 –Ms S Saku
Year 9 – Ms E Richards
Year 10 – Mr D Wilson
Year 11 – Ms S Borroni
Year 12 – Mr A Rich
Year 13 – Ms S Badri


  • Appointments for doctor, hospital and dentist, etc. should be made during the school holidays or weekends.
  • However, should an appointment only be available during school time, pupils will be allowed to leave the school premises on showing proof of an appointment to the relevant Head of Year. No pupil will be allowed to leave the school premises without such an appointment card.


  • If pupils are not in school there must be a justifiable reason and parents should telephone the Attendance Officer before 08.35 am on each day of absence on 020 8985 5150 - student absence press 1
  • All absences must be explained by a letter from the parent or carer. If the absence is for 1 or 2 days the note should be brought in by the pupil on their return. For longer absences the note should be posted to the school. Telephone calls explaining absences should always be followed by a letter.

Term Time Holidays

  • Under regulation 8 of The Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 1995, there is a discretionary power for leave to be granted for the purpose of an annual family holiday during term time.
  • The Headteacher will consider carefully any applications for term time holidays made at least four weeks in advance. Only in exceptional circumstances will leave of absence be granted and as a general rule permission will not be given for holidays in term time.
  • Please do not make travel arrangements before discussing the matter with the school.

Attendance Officer

  • The school has an appointed Attendance Officer who monitors attendance and punctuality and raises any concerns with Heads of Year and The Hackney Education Welfare Office. The Attendance Officer can recommend legal action should it be deemed necessary.
  • The school has an automated service which calls parents whose child is absent on a daily basis, unless the parent has called in to report that absence.