Attendance Strategy

This policy document was drawn up:

  • To ensure and maintain a high level of attendance at school by all pupils. The Board of Management, in consultation with staff and parents/guardians drew up this Attendance Strategy Statement.


The policy was drafted for the following reasons:

The Board of Management wishes to comply with legislation, such as:

The Education Act, 1998

The Education (Welfare) Act, 2000

 The Board of Management wishes to promote and encourage regular attendance as an essential factor in our pupils’ learning.

Relationship to the Characteristic Spirit of the School

Divine Mercy SNS endeavours to enable 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 through the school year.


  • To raise awareness of the importance of regular school attendance
  • To identify pupils at risk of leaving school early
  • To promote and to foster positive attitudes to learning
  • To ensure compliance with the requirements of the relevant legislation. Content Recording and Reporting of Attendance and Non-Attendance The school attendance of individual pupils is recorded in the Leabhar Rolla (Roll Book) of each class on a daily basis. It is also included on the Aladdin Management System by the class teacher and is recorded daily in the Leabhar Tinrimh (Attendance Book). The annual attendance of each individual pupil is recorded in the Clár Leabhar (Register), together with information provided in enrolment forms (Pupil’s Name, Date of Birth, Address, Religion, Parents’ Names and Parents’ Occupations).

If a pupil does not attend on a day when the school is open for instruction, his/her non- attendance will be recorded by the class teacher. The roll call is taken at 10.55a.m. each morning. Any pupil not present will be marked absent for the day. The roll book may not be altered once it has been filled in. A note from parents/guardians is required to explain each absence. Such notes will be retained by the school. Parents/guardians must also provide a note if a child departs early during the school day.

Late arrivals and early departures are recorded by the class teacher.

Parents/guardians are informed in writing at the end of year report of the total number of absences during the school year. Pupils whose non-attendance is a concern are invited to meet with the Principal/Teacher during Parent/Teacher meetings and are informed of the school’s concerns.

The school must inform the Education Welfare Officer in writing, where a child has missed 20 or more days in a school year, where attendance is irregular, where a pupil is removed from the school register and where a child is suspended or expelled for 6 days or more.

Whole School Strategies to Promote Attendance

Divine Mercy SNS, endeavour to create a safe, welcoming environment for our pupils and their parents/guardians. Parents/guardians are consulted in drafting and reviewing policies with the aim of promoting a high-level of co-operation among the school community. The teaching staff collaborates in the planning and implementation of the primary school curriculum, so as to provide a stimulating learning environment for all pupils.

New entrants and their parents/guardians are invited to engage in an induction process, through which the school’s policies and procedures in relation to attendance are explained. There is a focus on the value of regular attendance and on the importance of developing good attendance habits from third class onwards.

The calendar for the coming school year is published annually in September. It is hoped that this approach will enable parents/guardians to plan family events around school closures, thus minimising the chances of non-attendance related to family holidays during the school term.


The school has developed a good relationship with the local Education Welfare Board (EWB) personnel and there is ongoing communication in relation to children who are at risk.

Strategies in the Event of Non-Attendance Strategies used include

  • Identification of pupils who are good attenders at class level and during class assemblies
  • Contacting parents on an informal basis when a child is absent regularly.
  • Reporting sightings of children who are absent unbeknownst to parents to parents.
  • Tracking pupils through the school Care Team
  • Providing a range of, pre-school activities including supervision in the playground to ensure that pupils who may be reluctant to come to school do so.
  • Contacting the EWO Section 17 of the Education (Welfare) Act (2000), states that ‘the parent of a child shall cause the child concerned to attend a recognized school on each school day’. Section 21 of the act obliges schools to inform the Education Welfare Officer if a child is absent on more than 20 days in any school year, or if a child does not attend school on a regular basis.

In such cases the Education Welfare Officer (following all reasonable efforts by the Education Board to consult with the child’s parents and the Principal of the school) may serve a ‘School Attendance Notice’ on any parent who he/she concludes is failing or neglecting to cause the child to attend the school. A successful case taken against the parent may result in a fine and/or imprisonment.

Reasons for absence are recorded and reported to the EWB five times during the school year through an online system. An annual report is submitted – not more than six weeks following the end of the school year - detailing the overall level of attendance at the school during that school year.

Transfer to another School

Under Section 20 of the Education (Welfare) Act (2000), the Principal of a child’s current school must notify the Principal of the child’s previous school that the child is now registered in their school.

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. This applies to pupils who transfer between primary schools and to pupils who transfer from primary to second-level education.

Success Criteria

The following will provide some practical indicators of the success of this policy:

  • An increase in annual attendance rates
  • Board of Management, Staff and parent/guardian awareness of their legal obligations under the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 ?Roles and Responsibilities It is the responsibility of the Principal and class teacher to implement this policy under the guidance of the school’s Board of Management. School Principal/Deputy Principal The school principal will:
  • Ensure that the school registers of pupils is maintained in accordance with regulations.
  • Inform the Education Welfare Officer.

If a pupil is not attending school regularly.

When a pupil has been absent for 20 or more days during the course of a school year When a pupil’s name is removed from the school register

  • Inform parents of a decision to contact the Education Welfare Officer of concerns regarding a pupil.
  • Insofar as is practicable, promote the importance of good school attendance among pupils, parents and staff.
  • The class teacher will:
  • Maintain the school roll-book in accordance with procedure.
  • Keep a record of explained and unexplained absences.
  • Promote a reward system for pupils with exceptional attendance.
  • Encourage pupils to attend regularly and punctually. ?
  • Inform the Principal of concerns s/he may have regarding the attendance of any pupils .This policy will be implemented immediately following ratification by the Board of Management and communication to the Parents’ Association in February 2012.

Ratification and Review

This policy was further reviewed by the Board of Management in 2014/2015 It was ratified by the Board of Management on Date: ___________________ Signed: _____________________________ Chairperson, BOM

Review Date: ____________________________