Attendance Policy

1.         INTRODUCTION

As a school community we believe in the importance of full attendance and good punctuality for each student.

We also believe that it will take a team effort by parents, guardians, students and staff to maintain and achieve high levels of attendance.

We also believe in rewarding good attendance while applying appropriate sanctions for non-attendance and unsatisfactory punctuality.

2.         RATIONALE

  1. We recognise that most students have an excellent attendance record.
  2. That strong attendance will foster an appreciation of learning.
  3. That success in education is the key to successful adult career.
  4. That the school must fulfill its obligation under the Education Welfare Act 2002.

3.         AIMS

3.1              To make regular attendance and good punctuality a keystone of our educational practice.

3.2              To monitor the attendance and punctuality of each student and contact parents guardians of any unsatisfactory attendance.

3.3       To keep full records of attendance for Board of Management, N.E.W.B. and parents.

3.4       To support, students, parents / guardians when there are difficulties by involving HSCL and DEIS supports.  The HSCL teacher will regularly visit the homes of absent students to ascertain  the reason for absences, or of persistent lateness. The HSCL teacher reports on all meetings with parents to the Principal / Deputy Principal and the pastoral care team.

The HSCL teacher also liaises with the DEIS S.C.P. core team regarding regular absentee students.

3.5              To identify the cohort of students at risk.

4.         SCHOOL DAY

4.1              The student journal contains all the required information about start and end times.

4.2              The school undertakes to inform parents / guardians on day 3 and day 6 of all unexplained absences.  Parents / Guardians must provide a written note to explain all absences and ideally all lates.

4.3              The attendance and punctuality of each student is recorded by subject teachers in a daily tracking system for every class, each day. The tracking is monitored by class teachers and managed by a class representative.  The tracking system is monitored daily and reviewed weekly by class tutors.  A specific time-tabled slot facilitates the roll call each morning.  Class absences are also recorded on ‘green slips,’ which are returned to the school office at 10:40 a.m. & 2:25 p.m. each day.

4.4       The school secretary records the absentee students on the school roll.  A post-holder forwards absent report slips and the attendance report form to class teachers at the end of each week.  Completed NEWB returns are returned monthly to the Deputy Principal.  Monthly review statistics are collated by Deputy Principal / Post-holder / HSCL teacher / DEIS co-ordinator.  This group also meets with the E.W.O. on a monthly basis to review cases of concern.  The E.W.O. may consider other sanctions or supports.

4.5        Any unusual patterns are checked by the class teacher, Deputy Principal, and HSCL

Teacher by either phoning, writing or calling to the home of the absent student.

5.         SCHOOL  PROCEDURES

5.1              Roll call at 10:40 and 2:25

5.2              Class Tracking system is monitored daily by class and year teachers.

5.3              All absences are dealt with initially by class / year teachers and thereafter as per items 3.4 and 4.2 above.

5.4              Parents / guardians who are concerned about attendance matters should in the first instance contact class / year teacher or HSCL teacher, thereafter Principal or Deputy Principal.

5.5       Students who are regularly late for school, will be subject to disciplinary sanctions as per the school code.

  • Students who arrive late for school must first report to the main office for registration.
  • All students who are late will be issued with a ‘late-slip’ which enables entry to class.  Late students without a ‘late-slip’ will not be admitted to class.
  • Persistent late comers who arrive without satisfactory explanations will be subject to sanctions including daily detention, Wednesday detention, holiday detention and loss of any individual or class reward.

5.6       Students are expected to make up for unexplained absences.  This will involve any of the following:

  • detention on Wednesday afternoon
  • detention at the end of normal school days
  • detention at any other holiday time (mid term, other holidays and around exam time tabled days).
  • Denial of privileges for a set period of time.
  • written and signed undertaking to improve attendance.

These sanctions may be arranged by class / year teachers / Principal or Deputy `      Principal.

Parents / Guardians are always notified by letter, phone or note in journal regarding all detentions.

5.7              Permission to leave school at times other than at the end of the school day.

  • Students are only permitted to leave school unsupervised, during school hours, if parent / guardian’s permission has been sought and given by phone or note.
  • Where a student is ill, parents will be requested by school staff to collect the student from school.  The HSCL teacher may be requested to bring the student home.
  • In an emergency situation, a teacher can bring a student directly for medical treatment, after consultation with management and parents.
  • School management can only send students home, during school hours, for disciplinary reasons if the student’s parents can be contacted by phone and if they accept responsibility for the student.  A teacher may in these circumstances take a student home. If the parents cannot be contacted the student will be detained until the end of the school day and sent home with a note.  HSCL will then attempt to make contact with parents as soon as possible.
  • The students name, time of departure and reason for leaving should be recorded in the office diary.
  • All students must sign out from the school office.

Permission to leave class is at the discretion of subject teachers.  Any student who is allowed to leave class during tuition time must have a corridor pass.  Corridor passes can only be issued by subject teachers.

6.                 OVERVIEW

6.1              The school expects students to attend on all school days and to each timetabled class each day.

6.2              When a student is absent, a parent / guardian is expected to write a note in the student journal.

6.3              When a student is unavoidably late parents / guardians should write a note of explanation in the student journal.

6.4              When parents / guardians know of pre arranged medical / dental / family matter, please write an explanation into the student journal

6.5              Parents / guardians are asked to contact the school when there are medical issues and provide a doctors note to explain long absences.  In such circumstances please try to keep in touch with the school through the class teacher / HSCL / office.

6.6.      Individual student reports at Christmas and Summer will indicate overall levels of absences, lates and non completed days.

6.7              All absences of more than 20 days will be formally reported to the N.E.W.B., as will all patterns of unexplained absences.

6.8       The school will complete an Annual Attendance Report for submission to the

Board and the N.E.W.B.

6.9       Classes with satisfactory attendance are rewarded collectively by a shared celebration.  This to be decided and arranged by class tutors.

Individual excellent attendance is acknowledged by the award of an attendance certificate at the annual school awards.  These awards are issued in co-operation with the N.E.W.B. Education Officer.