School Attendance Policy

O’ Connell C.B.S Primary - Attendance Policy.

The O’Connell C.B.S.Primary Attendance Policy was developed through a series of meetings with Board of Management, teachers and parents.

This policy is required as a result of the Education Welfare Act 2000.

This act set up the National Educational Welfare Service.

Educational Welfare Officers are appointed to deal directly with schools in monitoring attendance.

Schools are required to make official attendance returns to the National Educational Welfare Board (N.E.W.B.) at the end of each term i.e. four times a year.

The N.E.W.B. also requires that the E.W.O. be notified when a pupil reaches 20 days absence during a school year.

As a school community we need to be aware of the absolute necessity for regular punctual attendance at school, pupils cannot learn and make progress if they are not in school. Every school day missed is a day lost which cannot be made up.

Aims and Objectives:

This policy has been devised in order to;

(1) Improve school attendance rates.

(2) Identify the irregular school attendees

(3) Help establish and identify the underlying causes and reasons for irregular attendance

(4) Develop plans and supports which will assist and improve the attendance rates

(5) Monitor and review, on an ongoing basis, the progress of individual cases.

(6) Maximise the participation and achievement levels of pupils attending the school.

(7) Support pupils remaining and participating in the educational system for as long as possible.

Strategies for Improving Attendance.

The school will use all or some of the following strategies to foster regular and punctual attendance as well as to tackle cases of irregular attendance.

(1) Rewards:

Rewards are given in accordance with the Code of Behaviour.

  • Pupils are given daily stamps in their D.F.L. Stamp Books.
  • Certificates are awarded at the end of each term assembly.
  • Trophies are awarded at the end of year assembly.
  • Pupils also receive extra P.E. and extra computer time, school outings and overnight trips.
  • Bicycle is raffled among full attendees at the End-of-Year Assembly.

(2) Teachers:

  • Classroom teachers take a daily roll call.
  • Daily attendance sheets will be filled in and sent to the office each morning.
  • Notes will be sought from pupils when they return to school after an absence. If after two days the teacher has not received an explanation from the parent/guardian he/she will notify the office.
  • As part of the school’s Code of Behaviour, Discipline for Learning, the class teacher will emphasise the importance of regular and punctual attendance.
  • The D.F.L. Stamp Book will be stamped for attendance daily.
  • When a pupil is regularly absent for 1/2 days per week, without a valid reason, the class teacher will notify the office.
  • In the case of targeted pupils, teachers will inform the office before 9.30am if anyone is absent without an explanation.
  • Attendance will be a priority topic at parent/teacher meetings.
  • Attendance will be part of the agenda in the regular consultations between class teachers and the Care Team.
  • Pupils’ attendance details will be part of the annual School Report to parents.

(3) Principal/Office:

  • The principal will emphasis the importance of punctual and regular attendance at school assemblies and in his weekly visits to the classrooms.
  • Appropriate contact will be made with the parents/guardians of pupils who are regularly absent 1/2 days per week without a valid reason. This may take the form of an informal chat on the school premises or a phone call.
  • In the case of seriously irregular attendance, (12 days +) without a valid reason, the principal will contact the parents/guardians by phone or by letter and they will be invited to a meeting with the principal or the attendance committee to discuss the matter.
  • In the case of chronic attendance, (20 days +) without a valid reason the principal will inform the EWO and notify parents of this by letter.
  • In the case of targeted pupils the principal will check their attendance daily. On days when targeted pupils are absent and an explanation has not been received by ten o’clock the school will try to contact the home by phone or when appropriate, by a visit from the HSCLC.

(4) Parents/Guardians:

  • It is the duty of parents/guardians to ensure that their children attend school regularly and punctually.
  • When a pupil is absent the parents/guardians must notify the school of the reason for his absence by phone or by personally visiting the class teacher, or by note on the day he returns.
  • The school will record the communication.
  • When the parents/guardians requested must meet with the class teacher, principal or attendance committee to discuss the reasons for their child’s irregular attendance.

  • Parents and guardians and school must cooperate to ensure pupils regular and punctual attendance.
  • Parents and guardians must be prepared to seek or accept help from outside agencies if it will help to ensure their children’s regular and punctual attendance.

(5) School Attendance Committee:

  • This committee consists of the principal, the support teacher, HSCLC and the E.W.O.
  • It will meet monthly to monitor attendance.
  • In the case of seriously irregular attendance it will consult with the class teachers and where possible meet with the parents and guardians.
  • It will work with parents/guardians to improve pupil’s attendance.
  • The school may make a referral to Social Services where it believes a child’s

chronically poor attendance is due to neglect or the child may be at risk

(6) Care Team:

  • Where there are difficult home circumstances which are adversely affecting a pupil’s attendance the case may be referred to the Care Team.

(7) HSCLC:

(a) Where is deems it appropriate or useful the school will offer the services of the HSCLC to the family. In his role of keeping parents close to their children’s learning the coordinator will promote good attendance as central to their success in school.

(b) The coordinator will support parents in fostering good attendance and linking closely with the school.

(c) As well as offering support and advice the coordinator will direct parents/guardians to relevant networks and agencies in the community where specific needs are identified.

(8) Transfer:

  • Where a pupil ceases to attend without explanation or notice he will be kept on the school roll until notification has been received from his new school.
  • Attendance, behaviour and academic records of pupils who transfer to another primary school will be forwarded to the principal of the school by post as soon as we receive written notification of transfer.
  • Attendance, behaviour and academic records of any pupils, who transfer to our school, will be sought directly from his previous school.
  • Notification of enrolment will be forwarded to his previous school.
  • Attendance, behaviour and academic records of pupils transferring to second level school will be sent to the school once enrolment has been confirmed.
  • As required the school will forward 6th class End-of-Year Reports to the relevant second-level schools once enrolment has been confirmed.

This revised School Attendance Policy was presented to the Board of

Management for their approval on: 15 -03 -2016.

Signed : Thomas Carroll_____

Chairperson B.O.M.