Attendance Policy - St Mary's National School Enniskeane Co. Cork

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Attendance Policy

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The Education Welfare Act 2000 promotes school attendance and Section 17 of the legislation states that it is a statutory obligation on parents to ensure their child attends a recognised school once registered in the school. Furthermore, where a child is absent from the school, the parent is required under the Act to notify the Principal/ class teacher regarding the reason for the child's absence. The Act states that the relevant authorities will be informed of pupils who have been absent for twenty school days or more (this includes illness, holidays outside school holidays etc.) Children deemed at risk will be registered with the National Educational Welfare and their attendance regularly recorded.

A meeting was held in October 2010 with representatives from the teaching staff, Parents' Association and Board of Management.  Strategies for improving attendance were discussed and the following decisions were made on encouraging good attendance and registering children with the NEWB.

Encouraging Good Attendance:

Parents will be sent a reminder letter in early January on the importance of punctuality and regular attendance in school.

Parents will be discouraged from taking holidays during school time and it was agreed that work would not be sent home with children, to do while they are on holiday. Teachers should not do anything to facilitate parents taking children on holidays during school time.

Teachers are asked to send names of children they deem at risk re attendance to the principal.

Role of Parents:

  • The parent of a child shall cause the child concerned to attend a recognised school on each school day

  • Where a child is absent from the school where s/he is registered, the parent of the child is required under the Act to notify the school outlining the reason for the child's absence. Letters from parents concerning illness and doctors certificates will be kept on file in the school for one year. If a child has missed more than 20 days notes relating to that child will be given by the class teacher to the principal at the end of the school year. Written permission from a parent is necessary for a pupil to leave the school for any reason during school hours. In that case the pupil must be collected at the classroom.

Role of the Principal:

  • To inform the relevant authorities in writing, where a student is absent in excess of twenty school days in a school year, where a student is suspended for a period in excess of 6 school days, where a student's name is removed from the register or where, in the opinion of the Principal the student is not attending regularly.

  • Informs the Board of Management of school attendance

  • Communicates to a school, to which a student is transferring any problem relating to school attendance and other appropriate matters relating to the child's educational progress.

  • Reports annually to the Parent's Association on the overall attendance of children in the school.

A pupil who shows signs of illness should be kept at home.  Requests from parents to allow their child to stay inside during break times cannot be accepted.  A child who is too sick to play with his peers or go outside during break times should not be in school.  The school is unable to provide adequate supervision both inside and outside the school, during these times.

Situations do arise however, when a child appears well in the morning and then gets sick during the day.  On such occasions every effort will be made to make the child comfortable.  Parents/guardians will be contacted.  It is very important the school have contact numbers in respect of each pupil lest an emergency should arise.  If the school is unable to make contact with parents/guardians a decision will be made as to whether the child needs medical assistance.  If deemed necessary the child's family doctor will be contacted.  If not the child will be made as comfortable as possible until a parent/guardian is contacted.

Role of Teacher:

  • Call the roll daily and record attendances and absences.

  • Teachers provide Deputy Principal with the numbers of absent pupils daily.

Role of Deputy Principal :

  • Register each student on the day the child first attends the school and removes the student's name from the register when the child is transferring to another school or is registered with the National Education Welfare Board.

  • To keep a record of the pupil's attendance and the reasons for any failure to attend.

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management.

Signed : _________________         Date : ________________

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