Changing social habits and patterns necessitated the updating of the schools attendance policy. The redrafting was a collaborative school process involving staff and the Board of Management.
The main factors contributing to the formulation of a revised policy can be summarised as follows;
· The changing fabric of society
· The influx of non-nationals
· 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 learning opportunities to be availed of
· 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 have an input into the implementation of the policy. Class teachers’ record individual patterns of attendance and the school secretarial staff make returns to NEWB.
Individual school attendance is recorded in the Leabhair Rolla of each class and the class data is recorded in the Leabhair Tinreamh. All children attending and data on parents are recorded in the school register.
A note from parents/guardians is required to cover each absence and these are dated and kept in a central location (administration office) at year end. Parents are made aware of the requirements of the N.E.W. B particularly the byelaw relating to absences of more than 20 days per school year.
Traditionally, school attendance is strong in our school and has not been adversely affected by social changes. However, staffs remain vigilant so that risk students are identified early. Risk students can be categorised as those who miss more than 5 days in a 20 day period without an accompanying note of explanation from parents/guardians. Appropriate contact takes place between the school and parents/guardians either via a letter or a note in the homework diary when this occurs. A meeting between parents 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 Tallanstown N.S to another school, the schools records on attendance, academic progress etc will be forwarded on receipt of written notification of the transfer
· When a child transfers into Tallanstown N.S. confirmation of transfer will be communicated to the child’s previous school, and appropriate records sought
Communication with Parents:
The school informs all parents 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
· Ensuring children are happy
· Displaying kindness, compassion and understanding
· Being vigilant so that risks to good attendance such as disadvantage, bullying etc. are identified early
· Rewarding good behaviour in line with the school motto.
· To help less able children a homework club has been established in the old school for one hour after school.
· In conjunction with Ardee Community School a Schools Completion program has been in operation helping pupils in sixth class who will be transferring into second level education.
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;
· Improved attendance levels
· Happy confident well adjusted children
· Positive parental feedback
· Teacher vigilance
Implementation/Ratification and Review:
This policy has been in operation in Tallanstown N.S. since 2005 and was updated in 2010. It will be reviewed again in 2012.
Don’t let your Child Miss Out - NEWB 2004
Education Welfare Act 2000
Section 29 Education Act
“Empty Desks”- C.D.U. Mary Immaculate
Children First 2011