Changing social habits and patterns necessitated the updating of the schools attendance policy.
The main factors contributing to the formulation of a revised policy can be summarised as follows:
- The changing fabric of society
- Emphasis on Child Protection
- The influx of pupils and families arriving from other cultures.
- The roll of the NEWB
- Levels of disadvantage
- Legislative requirements such as the Education Welfare Act 2000
- Changing attitudes to education
Aims and Objectives:
The revised policy is geared towards:
- Encouraging full attendance where possible
- Identifying pupils at risk
- Promoting a positive learning environment
- Enabling pupils to access available learning opportunities
- Raising awareness of the importance of school attendance
- Fostering an appreciation of learning
Compliance with School Ethos:
This policy complements the school ethos of nurturing potential in a caring environment where the welfare of children is paramount.
Roles and Responsibilities:
All staff members have an input into the implementation of the policy.
Class teachers record individual patterns of attendance and returns to N.E.W.B are managed by the Deputy Principal.
The Secretary has responsibility for maintaining the Leabhair Tinreamh.
Individual school attendance is recorded in the Leabhair Rolla of each class and the class date is recorded in the Leabhair Tinreamh.
Relevant data on parents/guardians and on all children attending are recorded in the school register.
A note from parents/guardians is required to cover each absence and these are dated and kept by the individual teacher. Parents are made aware of the requirements of the N.E.W.B particularly the bye law relating to absences of more than 20 days per school year.
Teachers remain vigilant so that at risk students are identified at an early stage. A parent must phone the school on the morning of a child being absent through illness. Appropriate contact takes place between the school and parents/guardians either via a letter or a note in the homework diary when unexplained absence occurs. A phone call may be necessary. A meeting between parents/guardians and the Principal may be set up if deemed necessary. Absences of more than 20 days are automatically referred to the Education Welfare Officer.
Communication with other Schools:
When a child transfers from Rathmichael N/S to another school, the schools records on attendance, academic progress etc. will be forwarded upon request by the parents/guardians or school. When a child transfers into Rathmichael N/S, confirmation of transfer will be communicated to the child’s previous school, and appropriate records sought. Pupils transferring from Rathmichael N/S to a Post Primary school will have their records forwarded upon request by the parents/guardian or school.
Communication with Parents:
The school informs all parents in a newsletter of the implications of non-attendance as per the Education Welfare Act 2000. This information is disseminated by regular school circulars. Parents of new children are informed on enrolment.
The school promotes good attendance by:
- Creating a safe and welcoming environment
- Striving to ensure insofar as is possible that children are happy
- Displaying kindness, compassion and understanding
- Being vigilant so that risks to good attendance such as disadvantage, bullying etc. are identified early
- Sometimes rewarding good attendance with incentives. e.g. on our Walking Buses
National Education Welfare Board:
The Education Welfare Officer is informed if:
- A child is expelled
- A child is suspended
- A child has missed more than 20 days
The NEWB is furnished with the total attendances in the school year through the Annual Report Form which is completed on-line.
The success of any Attendance policy is measured through:
- Satisfactory attendance levels
- Evidence of positive attitude towards school among pupils
- Positive parental feedback
- Efficient/effective identification and resolution of issues
- Feedback from teachers at staff meetings
Implementation/Ratification and Review:
This policy shall be reviewed in three years.
Don’t let your Child Miss Out – NEWB 2004
Education Welfare Act 2000 Section 29 Education Act
“Empty Desks”- C.D.U. Mary Immaculate