School Attendance Policy
Aims of this Policy:
- To develop a strategy whereby support can be given to parents and pupils in relation to school attendance
- To reflect our obligations relating to school attendance as outlined in the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000
Parties involved in development of this policy:
This policy has been developed following consultation between Board of Management, teachers and parents
This policy takes effect from:
- November 4th, 2004
- This policy will be reviewed in September 2005
The Education Welfare Act 2000 provides a comprehensive new framework for promoting regular school attendance and attending to problems of absenteeism. It was signed into law on July 5th 2000. The National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) was set up under this Act to support regular attendance and the education of children and young people. The Board has appointed Educational Welfare Officers (E.W.O.) to provide advice and support to parents and schools and to follow up absences from school. Under the Act parents must notify the school when a child is absent and it is recommended that the explanation be in writing. It is incumbent on schools to notify the National Educational Welfare Board if a child has missed a total of twenty days in the school year.
The Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) for Scoil Náisiúnta an Chroí Naofa is Veronica Manning. Issues relating to school attendance in Scoil Náisiúnta an Chroí Naofa should be referred to the Deputy Principal, Mary Carroll, who will keep the Principal abreast of all related issues.
The Education (Welfare) Act 2000 safeguards every child’s entitlement to an appropriate minimum education by:
- Developing a national framework to promote regular attendance at school.
- Promoting a positive appreciation among students of the benefits to be derived from education and attendance at school.
- Identifying the causes of absenteeism and early school leaving and developing measures for its prevention.
- Providing support to children at risk and those who experience difficulties in school in order to resolve any difficulties or impediments to their regular attendance at school.
The Educational Welfare Board
The National Educational Welfare Board is given the lead role in implementing the provisions of the Act:
- The principal function of the Board is to ensure that every child in the State attends a recognised school or otherwise receives an appropriate minimum education.
- The Board also has an advisory and research role in the formulation of Government policy on school attendance and education provision.
- The Board will deploy educational welfare officers at local level throughout the country. These officers will work in close co-operation with parents, teachers, school managers, community bodies and other relevant agencies to promote regular school attendance and prevent absenteeism and early school leaving.
Educational Welfare Officer
- The Educational Welfare Officers appointed by the Board will focus in particular on children at risk and those who are experiencing difficulties in school in order to resolve any impediments to their regular attendance at school. Alternative schooling will be sought for students who have been expelled, suspended or refused admittance to a school.
Mission Statement for School Attendance
The Board of Management, Staff and Parents of Scoil Náisiúnta an Chroí Naofa, acknowledge the negative effects and the problems caused by poor attendance and absenteeism. We will implement an attendance strategy which will:
- Enable the support of students with difficulties in attending school on a regular basis.
- Endeavour to implement a school attendance strategy to encourage, in a positive way, regular school attendance and an appreciation of learning within the school.
- Have prepared and implements a code of behaviour, setting standards of behaviour and disciplinary procedures for the school.
- Encourage regular school attendance in a positive way.
- The school promotes regular and punctual attendance with morning supervision of pupils’ arrival.
- Has effective Registration policies and practices.
- Maintains registers and records of attendance.
- Supports students with difficulties in attending school on a regular basis.
- Discuss the issue of poor attendance at Staff Meetings.
- Encourages good communication between home and school.
- Has good attendance incentives, affirms good attendance with presentation of certificates. These incentives are: (1) List of students with full attendance posted on notice board at the end of each school year AND (2) Pupils with full attendance per term would be acknowledged at assembly.
- At the beginning of each school year all families are informed, in writing, of the tenets of the Education (Welfare) Act.
- With regard to the diversity of our pupil population translations of this letter will be available in a variety of languages.
- As recommended under the Act, the school requests that written notification of planned absence is sent to the school prior to its occurrence.
- To facilitate recording and filing this notification will not be written in the Homework Journal, which is the recognised means of communication linking home and school.
- The class teacher calls the Roll daily. If a pattern of excessive absenteeism is noticed the class teacher will convey this information to the Deputy Principal.
- The school is obliged to notify the EWO if the child misses twenty days or more.
Responsibility of Parents
The Educational (Welfare) Act 2000 states that one of the functions of the Educational Welfare Board is as follows:
“…to promote and foster in society, and in particular in families, an appreciation of the benefits to be derived from education, in particular as respects the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, cultural and moral development of children, and of the social and economic advantages that flow therefrom”
In assisting the school with the implementation of this policy, the responsibilities of parents are as follows:
- If a child is absent for whatever reason, the parent should inform the school in writing of the reason for this absence as recommended by the Education (Welfare) Act
- If the absence is planned parents should send written notification to the school prior to its occurrence
- The BoM and staff of Scoil Náisiúnta an Chroí Naofa do not encourage the withdrawal of pupils from school for holidays during school time.
- Ensure that the children have enough rest and set a definite bedtime.
- Ensure the children have a healthy breakfast with enough time to eat it.
- Ensure that the child is in good time for school (i.e. five minutes before school starts at 9:00)
- Have a set time for homework each evening. If it is not completed children may not wish to go to school.
- Mornings will be more comfortable and without fuss if uniform and school bag are ready from the night before.
- Keep to a routine.
- Have a positive attitude when talking about school.
- Parents are encouraged to attend parent /teacher meetings. Keep in regular contact with the school. Use the Homework Journal as recommended.
- Work in collaboration with the school.
- With regard to medical/dental appointments, parents should return the child to school if medically fit.
- Inform the school in writing of their child’s absence and the reason why.
Ger Harrington (Chairperson)