Attendance Policy

Aims
In Scoil Chaitríona Baggot Street, our children, parents, staff and the Board of Management work together to provide a warm, respectful, welcoming and inclusive school. These characteristics underpin our school’s approach to teaching and learning and our wish that every child reaches his or her true potential.

In so far as possible, we aim to have full attendance from all of our pupils.

Rational

This Policy has been created based on consultation with our parents/guardians, staff and Board of Management. An open meeting was held on May 29th 2015 so that all parents/guardians were given an opportunity to give their points of view.

Based on the above consultation, as well as addressing Attendance, this Policy also takes the following areas into account:

  • Punctuality
  • Early collection
  • Supervision of children before and after school
  • Collection of children
  • Home-School Communication

The resulting Policy is operational from the start of the 2015/2016 school year.

Background

The Education (Welfare) Act 2000 provides a framework whereby school attendance can be dealt with by law. It also emphasises the promotion of school attendance, participation and retention for all children.

As a result of the Act, the National Education Welfare Board (NEWB) was established and appointed Education Welfare Officers. Since January 2014, TUSLA, the Child and Family Agency now operates the Educational Welfare Services in accordance with the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000.

Attendance

Under the regulations of the Act, the school is required to:
• Keep a record of pupils’ attendance
• Submit the names of all pupils who miss 20 or more days from school and the reasons why to TUSLA
• Keep a written record of pupils’ absences


Under the regulations of the Act, parents/guardians are required to:

• Send their children to school each day
• Notify the school, in writing, of the reason for a child’s absence.

Absences are reported to TUSLA using the following categories:

– A Illness
– B Urgent Family Reasons (eg: Bereavement)
– C Expelled
– D Suspended
– E Other (eg: Holidays, Religious Observance, Emigration)
– F Unexplained
– G Transfer to another school (written confirmation received from other school)

Promoting Full Attendance

In Scoil Chaitríona Baggot Street, we promote and encourage full attendance by using the following strategies and measures:

  • We provide a stimulating and structured school day for all children.
  • We hold regular and open class-level discussions with the children on the importance of regular attendance.
  • At our monthly assemblies, all children with full attendance that month are awarded with a certificate and a small prize. A group photo is displayed in the front of the school for that month.
  • All children who have full attendance at our end-of year Prize-Giving event are awarded with a special prize and their names recorded on the Full Attendance plaque.
  • Children who have missed one to three days throughout the full school year will also be acknowledged with a certificate at Prize-Giving.
  • The class teacher and principal will discretely encourage and praise a child who is making a serious effort to improve their attendance and the parents/guardians will be informed.
  • Where there are any concerns about a child’s attendance, parents/guardians are always consulted before this is discussed with the child.
  • All members of staff are mindful that there may be underlying problems or issues which may impact upon a child’s attendance record.
  • A designated teacher is responsible for monitoring all aspects of attendance in partnership with the principal.

Absences

  • If a child is absent for any number of days, a written note from the parents/guardians must be given to the child’s teacher.
  • This note must give the dates of the days absent and the reason for the absence.
  • All such written absence notes are placed in the class folder and transferred to the child’s file at the end of the school year.
  • Parents can also use the ‘Absent Form’ on the school website to notify the school of any absence while the child is actually absent. Print-outs of these forms are also kept on file.
  • If a child has been absent due to illness, parents/guardians are asked to give the child’s teacher any medical certs that they may have relating to the child.

 

 

Punctuality

  • Parents/guardians are asked to ensure that all children are in school on time every morning unless for a specific reason, appointment or urgent need.
  • The school day starts at 8:55am when the principal holds a brief assembly in the school yard.
  • Teachers then escort each class to their classrooms.
  • Where applicable, the parents/guardians of any child who comes to school on his or her own must inform the school that the child is doing so by using a form which is available from the school upon request.
  • For children from 1st-6th class, each child who arrives after this must sign in to the class late-arrival log-book, giving their name and arrival time (we provide a digital clock to facilitate this).
  • In Junior Infants or Senior Infants, the teachers make note of any late arrivals in the class late-arrival log-book.
  • These log-books enables the school to keep a record of all late-arrivals and to make parents aware of how much time is being missed.
  • If the class teacher notes a particular issue or pattern with punctuality for any child, he or she will inform the principal and then speak to the parents/guardians.

 

Early Collection/Early Leaving

  • Parents/guardians are not to ask not to collect children before the end of the school day, unless for a specific reason, appointment or urgent need.
  • Any parent/guardian who needs to collect a child before the end of the school day must first inform the child’s class teacher. The parent/guardian/designated adult must then sign the early leaving log book in the child’s class room and note the time and reason before leaving the school.
  • This enables the school to keep a record of all early collections and to make parents aware of how much time is being missed.
  • If a child who goes home on his/her own must leave school early, parents/guardians must provide a written note giving the reason and time. The child must sign-out in the early leaving logbook.
  • Again, this enables the school to keep a record of all early collections and to make parents aware of how much time is being missed.
  • If the class teacher notes a particular issue or pattern with early collections for any child, he or she will inform the principal and then speak to the parents/guardians.

Supervision of Children Before School

  • Parents/guardians are reminded that the school officially opens at 8:50am each school day.
  • At that time, the front door and back gate are opened. A designated staff member is responsible for all children who enter the school from that time until morning assembly at 8:55am.
  • The Board of Management cannot accept any responsibility for the supervision of any child left unattended by parents/guardians before the school opens.

Supervision of Children After School

  • Parents/guardians are reminded that the Infant classes finish school at 1:35pm and 1st-6th classes finish at 2:35pm.
  • The Board of Management cannot accept any responsibility for any children not collected at the proper time.
  • Unless allowed to leave school unattended, all children are the sole responsibility of their parents/guardians/designated adult and must be fully supervised at all times.
  • Parents/guardians/designated adults of children in Infant classes are asked not to let children play in the school yard at home-time as this disrupts the work of other children still in class.

Collection

  • All children from Junior Infants to 3rd class must be collected from the class teacher by parents/guardians/designated adults only at home time.
  • Only parents/guardians can authorise designated adults.
  • In the case of designated adults (including but not limited to relations, friends of parents/guardians, child-minders, etc.), all designated adults must be known to the teacher or principal in advance of collection. Otherwise the child will not be released unless written or verbal confirmation is received by the teacher or principal.
  • If a previously authorised adult is no longer permitted to collect a child for any reason, the parents/guardians must let the teacher know.
  • All Junior Infants must be collected by parents/guardians/designated adults from the door of their classroom.
  • Senior Infants, 2nd and 3rd class must be collected by parents/guardians/designated adults from the bottom the stairs leading from their classrooms.
  • All children from 4th, 5th and 6th classes are escorted to the yard by their teacher at home-time.
  • Only children who are allowed to go home on their own will be allowed to leave the school unattended by a parent/guardian/designated adult.
  • Any children who have such permission on a regular basis must provide their teacher with a permission form signed a parent/guardian. This form will be supplied the child by the class teacher upon request.
  • If a parent/guardian wishes to withdraw permission for a child to leave school unattended, the school must be informed in writing.

Home/School Communication

  • We have regular communication with parents/guardians and provide them with updates on their child’s attendance if it is ever a cause for concern.
  • If a child is absent for a total of 10 days over any period of time, regardless of the reason or reasons, a letter will be send to the parents/guardians to alert them to this fact.
  • If there is any change to a child’s collection arrangements, the teacher must be informed.
  • If a parent/guardian/designated adult is no longer permitted to collect a child due to a custody or guardianship issue or legal agreement, the school can only act upon this upon receipt of the relevant legal documents.
  • The school must be made aware and officially informed of any custody or guardianship issue or agreement, which may have an impact on the collection of any child.
  • Original versions of any documents relating to such legal issue or agreement must be presented to the principal and these will be photocopied. Copies will be retained by the principal, the teacher and placed in the child’s file.
  • If there is any amendment, change or update to these legal documents, the school must be presented with an original version of these and these will also be photocopied. Copies will be retained by the principal, the teacher and placed in the child’s file.
  • Any and all information supplied to the school by parents/guardians, whether verbally or written, will be treated with the utmost confidence at all times.
  • Our Home-School Community Liaison teacher may visit parents/guardians who, in the professional opinion of the principal, need encouragement and support in ensuring their child/children attend school.