Policies

Attendance Policy

Written on 06/07/2015
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Attendance Policy 

Introduction:

While there is a strong tradition of good attendance in our school, changing social habits and patterns require us to monitor attendance and to put strategies in place to counter act poor or irregular attendance.

Aims and Objectives:

Our aim is to ensure and maintain a high level of attendance at school by all pupils.

  • Encouraging full attendance where possible
  • Identifying pupils at risk
  • Promoting a positive learning environment
  • Raising awareness of the importance of school attendance
  • Fostering an appreciation of learning

Compliance with School Ethos:

In Saint Brigid’s National School we want every pupil to actively participate in all school activities. Regular attendance helps to create a stable learning environment for all pupils, and the school hopes to promote co-operation among pupils, parents/guardians and staff in maintaining a high level of regular attendance and punctuality throughout the school year.

Current Practices

  • Individual attendance is recorded daily on the school administration system and reasons for absences are noted
  • Non attenders must provide either a note from parent with reason for absence or fill in an online form which is emailed to the Deputy Principal. The school keeps a record of all absences, using the following codes as set down by the NEWB

A Illness

B Urgent Family Reasons (eg:Bereavement)

C Expelled

D Suspended

E Other (eg: Holidays, Religious Observance, Emigration)

F Unexplained

G Transfer to another school (written confirmation received from other school)

  • Attendance is monitored by the Deputy Principal and if child is absent for long periods without explanation, parents are contacted by Principal/Deputy
  • Parents are discouraged from taking children out of school for holidays during school time. The school calendar is published at the beginning of the school year and it is hope parents can use this to plan holidays.
  • Parents who intend taking their children away on holidays during term should indicate this to the teacher in writing .
  • Parents will receive a text message from the school when 15 days absence has been recorded and thereafter provide them with updates on their child’s attendance as it is a cause for concern.
  • Absences of 20 days or more are submitted to NEWB twice yearly and parents are informed by letter. If we have a concern we are obliged to report this to An Tusla even if a child has missed days through illness.
  • We ask parents to value every minute that the children spend at school . Children should be in their line at ten to nine and we also request parents not to collect children early, unless for a specific appointment. We use a sign-out sheet for children who are collected early by a parent. This enables us to keep a record of such absences and make parents aware of how much time is being missed
  • The class teacher will also  monitor  punctuality. Lateness is usually not the child’s fault but if a pattern develops he/she will a receive a verbal warning, before  a letter is sent to parents requesting their co operation in improving punctuality .  If the problem persists the Principal will then contact parents in an effort to resolve any difficulties.
  • When a child transfers to another school, the new school informs us in writing and the child is then taken off our register.
  • The child’s information is transferred through the Primary Online Database

Promoting Good Attendance

The school promotes good attendance by

  • Creating a safe and welcoming and happy environment
  • Displaying kindness, compassion and understanding
  • Holding regular and open class-level discussions with the children on the importance of regular attendance and punctuality
  • Being vigilant so that risks to good attendance such as disadvantage, bullying etc. are identified early
  • Encouraging strong home school links so that parents feel free to discuss family problems
  • Publishing attendance policy and reminders on the School Website
  • Addressing parents at the AGM and Pre Enrollment parents on the importance of attendance and  punctuality
  • Publicly and positively affirming those children who have excellent attendance with Annual Attendance Awards

Parents/guardians can promote good school attendance by:

  • Ensuring regular and punctual school attendance.
  • Notifying the School if their children cannot attend for any reason.
  • Working with the School and education welfare service to resolve any attendance problems;
  • Making sure their children understand that parents support and approve of school attendance;
  • Discussing planned absences with the school.
  • Refraining, if at all possible, from taking holidays during school time.
  • Showing an interest in their children’s school day and their children’s homework.
  • Encouraging them to participate in school activities.
  • Praising and encouraging their children’s achievements.
  • Instilling in their children, a positive self-concept and a positive sense of self-worth.
  • Informing the school in writing of the reasons for absence from school.
  • Ensuring, insofar as is possible, that children’s appointments (with dentists etc), are arranged for times outside of school hours.
  • Contacting the school immediately, if they have concerns about absence or other related school matters.

Pupils

  • Pupils have the clear responsibility to attend  school regularly and punctually.
  • Pupils should inform staff if there is a problem that may lead to their absence.
  • Pupils are responsible for promptly passing on absence notes from parents to their class teacher.
  • Pupils are responsible for passing school correspondence to their parents, on the specified day.