La Sainte Union Catholic School

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Attendance and PUNCTUALITY Expectations

La Sainte Union 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 daughter 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 underachievement. Please see our Policies page for the Attendance Policy.

Attend today, achieve tomorrow

LSU prides itself in its high exam results, which are achieved thanks to excellent attendance levels. Ensuring a young person’s regular attendance at school is the legal responsibility of parents and carers and the school views any failure to attend regularly as a matter of safeguarding.

Reporting your child’s absence

If your child is unable to attend school, you must inform the school before 8.30 am on the first day and every day thereafter of the absence. If you do not inform the school, this may result in an unauthorised absence and is placed on your child’s record. If you are unable to inform the school, you must provide a note with the reason for the absence on your child’s return. For every day that your child is absent, you will receive a text informing you of their absence, unless we know otherwise.

Parents and guardians please email absence/early departures to or telephone 0207 428 4600, press option 1 and please include in your message: the pupil's full name, the pupil's form year and class and the reason for absence.

All requests for exceptional leave must be made in advance to Mrs Fegan.

Holidays in term time cannot be authorised. Individual requests for time off school for exceptional circumstances are considered on a case-by-case basis, in line with the guidance from the Department of Education. Requests for authorisation cannot be considered in retrospect.

Early departure

All appointments for the doctor, hospital, orthodontist or dentist, must be made out of term time or after school. If it is local, your child may be able to leave and then return to school. Your child must bring a note on the day of any appointments and report to reception before 8.30 am with proof of their appointment unless we have received an email from a parent/guardian.

They must deposit their phone in the early departure box, ready for collection when they sign out and leave the premises. Without a note or proof, your child will not be allowed to leave school premises until we have made contact with the parent or guardian.

Medical appointments before school

If your child has a medical appointment before school and arrives late, they must show proof of their appointment on arrival. If they have no proof, we may contact the parent/guardian to confirm. No proof results in an unauthorised absence.


If your child arrives late to school after 8.30 am they will need to use the main entrance in Highgate Road. They must sign in using the Inventory system. This is important for safeguarding and health and safety. They must hand in their phones at reception and collect them from there after PM registration.

They may receive a late detention that they must attend at the end of the day. Persistent lateness may result in a penalty notice and a fine. La Sainte Union 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.

You can see in the table below how percentage attendance relates to the number of days off school:

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. 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 discussed with the PAS (Pupil Attendance Service).

What happens if your child is absent from school?

If your daughter is absent from school you will receive an absence text by 10.30am, unless you have already informed us that she will be absent. This is to ensure that you are aware that she has not arrived at school.

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

If your daughter’s attendance drops below 90% you may receive a further letter. It is likely that your daughter’s absence will be referred to the PAS (Pupil Attendance Service) and there may be statutory action taken.

What happens if your child is persistently late for school?

The school day starts at 8.30 am and registers remain open until 9.00 am. If your daughter arrives between 8.30 am and 9.00 am, she will be marked late in the register (L). If she arrives after 9.00 am, without an appropriate reason, she will be recorded as an unauthorised absence (U). If your daughter is recorded as L or U eight times or more over a period of eight weeks, she will be referred to the PAS (Pupil Attendance Service) and you may receive a fine. We want to work with you and your daughter 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. Please contact, if you have concerns regarding your daughter’s attendance or want to discuss your particular situation.

Adverse Weather Policy

Please regularly check the school website for decisions regarding adverse weather.

La Sainte Union will endeavour to remain open during snow and bad weather.

In the event of severe weather, such as heavy snow and ice, the school may be forced to close. We endeavour to stay open at all times, however, if we are forced to close, the school’s website will be updated and you will be sent a text message confirming the school’s closure. Please continue to check the Weather Forecast and TFL service updates for the next few days for weather warnings as hazardous conditions could affect public transport and your daughter’s journey into school.