School Attendance Policy
There is a very strong tradition of good attendance in St. Paul’s N.S. However, we would like to make parents aware of the absolute necessity for regular punctual attendance at school.
Compliance with school ethos
This policy complements the school ethos of nurturing potential in a caring environment where the welfare of children is paramount
Aims and objectives
This policy is geared towards:
- Fostering an appreciation of learning by having good attendance practices.
- Complying with requirements under The Education Welfare Act 2000
- Raising awareness of importance of school attendance.
- Identifying pupils at risk of school leaving early
- Enhancing the learning environment where children can make progress in all aspects of their development.
Defining and Recording Non-Attendance:
‘The parent of a child shall cause the child concerned to attend a recognised school on each school day.’ Section 17 Education Welfare Act 2000
- A child is expected to attend each day.
- A letter is provided by parents explaining the absence in accordance with the Education Act 1998.
- All explanatory notes from the parents are kept in the child’s file.
- Each student’s absence is recorded on Aladdin
- The category of absence is also identified.
- If a child misses a half day a verbal or written explanation is required.
- If a note isn’t forth coming the school secretary/class teacher will contact the parents requesting a letter of explanation.
Roles and Responsibilities
All staff has an input into the implantation of the policy. Class teachers record individual patterns of attendance and alert any concerns to the principal.
It is the responsibility of the Principal and staff to implement this policy under the guidance of the school’s BOM
If there is a difficulty with punctuality or poor attendance:
- Class teacher will talk to the parent about the matter and remind them of their statutory duty as parents to ensure that their child is sent to school.
- When a child has missed 15 days a letter is sent home to parents highlighting this and encouraging improvement.
- If there is still no improvement the principal along with the class teacher will have a further discussion with the parents.
- The principal would formally meet the parent outlining that the Board of Management of the school will be informed about the poor attendance, and/or the Welfare board office will be contacted.
- The NEWB will be contacted regarding any child who has missed 20 days or more. The EWO and Principal will work together to support families of children with particularly poor attendance.
The school promotes good attendance by:
- Creating a safe and welcoming environment
- Ensuring children are happy
- Displaying kindness, compassion and understanding
- Being vigilant so that risks to good attendance such as disadvantage, bullying etc. are identified early
Procedures in relation to the Removal from Register/Transfer from another school:
The school is aware that ‘A principal may only remove a pupil’s name from a school register where they have been informed that the child has been enrolled in another school or when the Welfare Board notifies them that the child has been registered by it as in receipt of out-of-school education.’
The Board of Management may in exceptional circumstances suspend or expel a child. (see Code of Behaviour) The National Education Welfare Board will be notified if this happens.
Transfer to another school:
Where parents remove a child from a school the principal is obliged to give them and the new school a certificate stating child’s record of attendance and absences in the school, the last class the child attended, and any other relevant information pertaining to the education of the child.
Transfer from another school:
When St. Paul’s receives a new student, the principal will notify the principal of the child’s last school attended that the child is now registered in our school “as soon as may be”. When a principal receives notification that a child has been registered elsewhere he/she must notify the principal of the pupil’s new school of any problems in relation to attendance at the pupil’s former school and of such matters relating to the child’s educational progress as he or she considers appropriate.
- Parents who fail to send in a letter of explanation of absence will be contacted by the school teacher after 2 days
- When a child reaches 15 days absence, a letter will be automatically sent to parents informing them of this and the responsibility of the school to report to NEWB should the child reach 20 days absence.
- A report is sent to the NEWB as required.
Removal of a Pupil during the School Day
- To highlight the importance of remaining in school for a full school day
- To ensure the safety of all pupils in our school by having all visitors and parents enter the front locked door and ring a bell which will be answered by a member of staff.
- To ensure the accountability of all pupils during any emergency evacuations
- To retain a record of pupils regularly leaving school early
Pupils are expected to remain in school for a full school day. Pupils should only be removed early from school in cases of emergency or unavoidable medical appointments.
1. Unavoidable medical appointments / Withdrawing a sick child from school
If a pupil needs to leave early for an unavoidable medical appointment, a letter should be sent in beforehand from his/her parents.
If a child is sick during the school day, the secretary/class teacher will firstly ring the parent and if they are unable to contact them the emergency contact number will be used. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure all phone numbers are up to date.
When collecting the child, the parent should report to the school staff where she/he will be asked to sign the child out in the Visitors Record Book. The parent can then wait in the foyer while the child is collected from the classroom.
On returning the child after the appointment, the return time will be recorded in the Visitors Record Book.
2. Arriving late to school due to medical appointment or emergency
Our school day begins at 9.20am. If a child has a medical, dental or unavoidable morning appointment, a letter should be sent in beforehand from his/her parents. The school rolla is taken daily at 9.40 but it will be left until 11.00 if the school has been informed of a child’s late arrival. After this time, the child has missed half of the school day and will be marked absent.
The parent should ring or email the school en-route and explain the situation. The secretary/teacher can then have the child collected from the class and ready to meet the parent. The parent will be asked to sign the child out in the Visitors Record Book.
No child will be allowed to leave the school with any other adult other than his/her parent unless the parent themselves has been in an accident. In such cases, the child will only be released to an immediate family member known to the Principal & staff, as named as the Emergency Contact person.
School starts at 9.20am. For security reasons, all doors will be locked at 9.30am. Rollas will be called at 9.40am. If a child arrives to school after 9.40am, without prior notification from parents for an appointment they will be marked absent on the Rolla.
The Principal will meet with the parents of children who are continually late to discuss strategies to improve punctuality.
If following school intervention & strategies punctuality does not improve, the principal will report the case to the Education Welfare Officer for further intervention and action.
A copy of the policy will be given to members of staff, Board of Management, and available to parents to view in the school.