Parents as Partners

Parental Involvement

Parental involvement in children's learning is a priority at St. Oswald's CE Primary School. We aim to foster home-school links and to give you opportunities and encouragement to become involved in your child's learning.

Our Parental Support Adviser is Mrs McNally.  Should you wish to contact her, she is always on hand to offer support and is based in the Pastoral Office, she can be contacted by dialling school and pressing 3.

Her work involves: supporting parents and children to attend school regularly and achieve to the best of their abilities, getting to know parents and children at the school, liaising between staff, parents and outside agencies, making home visits, helping parents who have problems or need support, encouraging parental  involvement in the school.

Mrs. McNally is available from 8.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday.


Good attendance is so important. Even missing one day of school can have a significant impact on a child’s learning. The school day is structured so that learning starts from the minute pupils walk through the door and we expect pupils to be on time and learning with us every day.

Attendance team
Miss Murtagh and Mrs McNally lead our improving attendance and punctuality strategy.

Mrs McNally makes referrals to local authority for penalty notices and cases of persistent unexplained absence.

Pupils are rewarded for consistently good attendance and punctuality – the reward system celebrates good weekly and termly attendance for the pupils.

Unfortunately, during the last two academic years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of pupils taking holidays during term time. Senior leaders and governors have concerns about all extended absences and the impact this has on pupil progress.

No term time holidays are authorised and all unauthorised absences that qualify are referred for penalty notice.

What should I do if my child is too unwell to attend school?
Telephone school (telephones usually manned from 8.00 a.m. and there is a facility to leave a message for absence) to record that your child will be absent from school or send a message via school spider.

If the absence continues it is important that you keep in touch with school – ringing every day or reporting the absence on school spider if possible please.

What is an acceptable level of attendance?
We monitor all pupils whose attendance falls below 96%.

Can I request access to my child’s attendance record?
School uses SIMS information management system on which all attendance is recorded. Parents are welcome to see all attendance records for their child. All parents are issued written attendance letters half termly as a part of the end of half term short reports included in the assertive mentoring information sent out.

What is my child’s attendance falls below the accepted level 96%?
Mrs McNally (Parent Support Adviser) reviews attendance on a daily, weekly, half termly and annual basis. Where attendance falls below 96% she will:

(a) Write to the parents of the children concerned outlining the concerns.
(b) Consider what response or action is required / appropriate – this will vary depending on the individual attendance levels.
(c) Meet with the parents of children concerned to identify any support that may be necessary or needed.
(d) Monitor attendance closely.

(e) request medical proof/evidence

Parents, in the first instance, are usually asked to attend a school attendance panel (SAP) meeting with Mrs McNally and/or Governors. This is an opportunity to discuss any family or home issues that are affecting school attendance. There is an expectation after this meeting that attendance will significantly improve.

What sort of action or response will the headteacher take?
The headteacher will use a range of legal powers to improve attendance.

These can include:

  1. Requiring the appearance of parents at a meeting with governors.
  2. Requiring the appearance of parents at a Local Authority attendance panel.
  3. Fining parents for poor attendance – this will be set at £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid within 42 days.
  4. Court issued Parenting Orders.
  5. Referral to Social Care – non-attendance can be seen as neglect.

What sort of absence would be acceptable?
In law it is only the headteacher who can accept or reject a reason provided for an absence. The sort of reasons that may be acceptable would include sickness, hospitalisation, religious observance and medical appointments (BUT only if they can’t be taken outside of school hours.)

However – some absences may still be deemed as unacceptable if the level of attendance is causing concern overall.

What sort of absence will NOT be acceptable?
The sort of absence that would not be acceptable would include: birthdays, buying clothing, parent appointments, going overseas to visit relatives or to undertake an appointment, taking holidays in term time, late night the night before.

If my child needs to be absent necessarily, what should I do?
If your child needs to be absent necessarily, the absence MUST be applied for BEFORE the absence takes place. Parents will need to provide the school with evidence of the necessity of the absence. The sort of evidence might include appointment cards or prescriptions.

Is it true that the headteacher can no longer authorise holidays during term time?
Yes, unless there are very exceptional circumstances. It is only the headteacher that can define what ‘exceptional’ is. However, these circumstances would be VERY rare. As a rule, requests will be refused.

What if I don’t get permission from the school for an absence (such as a holiday) but choose to go anyway?
Then a fixed penalty may be issued. These will be set at £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid within 42 days. Fixed penalties for attendance can only be issued by the Headteacher, the Local Authority or Police. The penalties will apply to each child and each parent will be issued separately.

i.e. 2 children taking holiday will equal a £60 penalty each and per parent = £240 penalty for the family

How will school registers record absence in future?
On each occasion when the register is taken, the school must record one of four ‘status’ codes. These are:

  • Present
  • Attending an Approved Educational Activity
  • Absent
  • Unable to Attend Due to Exceptional Circumstances (only those authorised by the Headteacher)

If my child is ill, is there a recommended period of time for their absence?
Yes, the regional health authority produces guidelines on whether or not a child should be kept off school. Copies of this guidance can requested from Mrs McNally in the school office.

How will being late to school be treated?
There is a difference between those children who are perpetually late and those who are occasionally and unavoidably late. The headteacher is now empowered to use the fixed penalty scheme for those parents who persistently bring their child to school late without an acceptable and unavoidable reason.

This is a copy of the letter we send to parents whose child is frequently late:

You are receiving this letter because we have a concern about your child’s punctuality.
We open school doors at 8:45 a.m. and from this time to 8:55 a.m. children take part in learning activities and teachers take the class register. At 8.55 a.m. all pupils in school take part in focused Maths activities.
If pupils do not attend these sessions regularly they quickly start to fall behind their peer group and equally find it difficult to keep up in class. As you can appreciate, we cannot then run the same session for pupils who are late later in the day.
Your child is entitled to a full education and, without the initial building blocks, will struggle both in the short term and then later down the line in their school career if they have gaps in learning.

Can I appeal against the headteacher or local authority decision to issue a fixed penalty?
No. There is no right of appeal. Parents who fail to pay within the 42 day limit may be subject to prosecution as a result.

How do I apply for absence approval?
Parents can email or write to school.  Absence requests can also be made via the school spider app. The Headteacher will review the request and parents will be notified of her decision.

School Uniform

At St. Oswald’s we expect pupils to wear our school uniform, and be correctly dressed.  We believe our uniform adds to the ethos of the school assisting with good behaviour and fostering a strong feeling of belonging amongst the children. School uniform is worn by all the pupils and is welcomed by the majority of our parents.

Our school colours are red and grey.

School uniform consists of the following and some items can be purchased from the school office:


Red jogging suit for girls and boys. Pupils have pumps in the Nursery which they change into on arrival and change out of on departure. Earrings are not allowed to be worn in the Nursery or in any other year group.

Main School (Reception class to Year 6)

Boys- Black or grey trousers, grey school sweatshirt, red school polo shirt. Black school shoes (not trainers.)

Girls- Grey skirt, pinafore, culottes, or trousers. Grey school sweatshirt/cardigan with red school polo shirt. Flat black shoes with white or grey socks. Girls should have long hair tied up with red ribbons or other sensible decorations.

It is important to stress that students have to wear plain black footwear and a school jumper or cardigan.

A red school fleece or waterproof coat are also available.

Earrings are not allowed under any circumstances in any year group.

Optional Summer Wear

Boys – grey shorts

Girls - red gingham dress, white ankle socks, full, flat sandals

Indoor Physical Education

All pupils – Red school t-shirt, black shorts, black pumps (not trainers.)

Outdoor Physical Education

All pupils – Pupils may wear a jogging suit and trainers for outside PE lessons, an indoor kit should also remain in school.


Boys – Trunks not shorts.

Girls – Full swimsuits.

All pupils must wear a swimming hat for reasons of health and safety.

All pupils must bring a coat to school on swimming lesson days.


St Oswald’s CE Primary School does not permit extreme fashion hairstyles such as tramlines, decorative shavings, Mohicans or beaded hair.  Extreme use of colour is also not allowed in school.  Long hair should ALWAYS be tied back for health and safety reasons.

Equal Opportunities

The school is committed to equality of opportunity regardless of social background. In order to enable all pupils to access school uniform the school will provide uniform for pupils whose families may have difficulties in purchasing a uniform.

Parents having difficulties should approach Mrs McNally (Parent Support Advisor), Mrs Erskine (Bursar), or Mrs Keiley (SENCO).


Volunteering at St Oswald's is rewarding and fulfilling.  For more information please contact Mrs Clarke.

Sefton Local Safeguarding Board

For more information please follow this link.


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St Oswald's CE Primary School. Ronald Ross Avenue, Netherton, Bootle L30 5RH

Tel: 0151 525 4580 | E: