This policy document was drawn up:
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.
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
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.
The following will provide some practical indicators of the success of this policy:
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
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: ____________________________