Attendance Policy 2015/17

 

THE SCHOOL’S EXPECTATIONS ON ATTENDANCE

To ensure regular attendance, punctuality and high standards of uniform, Saint Patrick’s has the following expectations from pupils and parents.

 

Pupils:

  • That they will attend school regularly;
  • That they will arrive on time appropriately dressed and prepared for the day;
  • That they will arrive punctually to each class on their daily timetable.

Parents:

  • That they encourage their children to attend school;
  • That they contact the office between 8.30 and 9.30 am, whenever their child is unable to attend, or send a sick note.
  • That they ensure the child is wearing full school uniform;
  • That they ensure their child arrive in school well prepared for the school day with homework completed.

 

Pupils and parents can expect the following from Saint Patrick’s College;

  • Regular, efficient and accurate recording of attendance and time keeping;
  • Contact from the school when a pupil fails to attend and when no contact has been made from home within two days;
  • Early contact with parents when a pupil fails to attend without good reason and when there has been a pattern of absences or an excessive number of absences or lateness;
  • Immediate action on any problem notified to us, in confidence if necessary;
  • Positive measure to encourage good attendance;
  • A high quality education.

 

A child should only be absent if the reason is ‘unavoidable’. Every absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by parents), as either ‘authorised’ or unauthorised’. This is why information about the cause of each absence is always required. Authorised absences are morning or afternoons away from school for an acceptable reason such as illness or other unavoidable cause.

 

Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable or for which no permission has been given. This includes:

  • Shopping
  • House sitting
  • Absconding
  • Absences which have never properly been explained.

Providing a note may not be sufficient if the reason given is not ‘unavoidable’.

 

POSITIVE MEASURES TO ENCOURAGE GOOD ATTENDANCE

  • Registers will be completed accurately at the start of each day;
  • The class teacher will monitor them at the beginning of each lesson;
  • They will be monitored daily by form teachers through lesson monitor;
  • Attendance and punctuality will be monitored by form teachers and communicated to parents through homework diary/letter.
  • Prizes for pupils with best and most improved attendance;
  • Certificates presented each half term in recognition of attendance of greater than 98%;
  • Awards for pupils who have an overall attendance of 100%;
  • Discussion with Year Head and Education Welfare Officer when pupil attendance falls below 85%;
  • Regular reviews and meetings with parents;
  • A high level of attendance will merit a strong and supportive reference from the school to future employers.

 

Saint Patrick’s places a great deal of importance on the need to be punctual and to arrive to school on time. Not only does it make for a good start to the school day but also it shows consideration for everyone else in the class and avoids disruption of teaching. All children who arrive into school after first class (9.00 am) are to be marked late. Any child who arrives late after first class has begun will be marked ‘U’ on Lesson Monitor. Procedures to be followed in the case of persistent lateness will involve initially the Year Head and then the Education Welfare Officer.

 

RESPONDING TO NON-ATTENDANCE AND THE PROCEDURE FOR LATENESS

  1. If a note or telephone call is not received from parents/guardians, the school will contact the parent/guardian via the pupil’s homework diary. If there is no response, a letter will be sent from the Year Head or a telephone enquiry made.
  2. The Education Welfare Officer will be alerted if patterns of poor attendance or lateness persist. Home visits will be carried out.

 

LEAVING THE SCHOOL PREMISES DURING THE DAY

If a pupil needs to leave the school during the day, they may only do so by showing their form teacher a letter signed by a parent/guardian. Pupils will not be allowed to leave school unless this letter is signed by the Form teacher or Year Head (if the Form teacher is unavailable). Pupils seeking a gate pass to go ‘home’ for lunch may only receive one once an application form has been completed and signed by parents/guardians. Pupils must live within a short walking distance to the school. Any student who leaves the school premises without carrying out the above procedures will be deemed as ‘absconding from school’.

  • Parents will be informed that their child is out of school without permission;
  • A pupil will receive one detention for each class missed;
  • If a pupil ‘absconds’ for the entire day, the Education Welfare Officer will be informed and parents will be invited to school for a meeting to discuss issues raised. The pupil will receive a two day detention.
  • If a pupil with a lunch time gate pass arrives late to class, the school has the right to confiscate the gate pass and permission to go home for lunch will be withdrawn.

Pupils are not allowed to text parents to collect them during the school dat. Permission to leave school can only be granted by the Form Teacher of, in the absence of the Form Teacher, Year Head.

Pupils who leave school without permission (even if the parent is aware) will be registered as ‘Unauthorised absence’ and will be sanctioned this.

Pupils who are leaving school with parental permission must be picked up inside the school grounds. Parents are asked not to wait across the road from the school.

Pupils can only be picked up by a responsible adult. The school reserves the right to prohibit a student from leaving the school premises if there is a suspicion about the person collecting the pupil, even if permission has been granted.

 

MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS

Permission for family holidays in term time can only be granted in exceptional circumstances where:

  • The holiday is important for the well-being and cohesion of the family following serious or terminal illness, bereavement or other traumatic events);
  • Evidence is provided by an employer that leave cannot be accommodated during school holidays with significant consequence;
  • The family is making a religious pilgrimage

 

Where holidays are taken which do not fall into the ‘exceptional circumstances’ category above, these will be recorded on Lesson Monitor as ‘unauthorised absence’. All requests for more than 10 school days holiday leave within the school year must be submitted in writing to the Year Head.

 

When a pupil is withdrawn during term time, there is disruption to the meaning process that can result in the pupil falling behind his/her group. There is a belief, amongst some; parents that this time can be made up by the school providing ‘work’ for the pupil to complete during the holiday period. This does not have the desired effect since the pupil has missed out on quality teaching time. If you wish your child to continue to continue with some type of school activity while on holiday, may we suggest that he/she contacts a meme of the class at regular times during the holiday via email/through the school VLE. On return to school, the pupil will be encouraged to work hard to compensate for the gap in their education. This may require the completion of additional work at home.

 

Please read this document carefully. It is important that all aspects of the attendance policy are adhered to as good attendance is essential for a high quality education.

 

Below are documents and a video for more information about attendance

Attendance Matters: A Parent’s Guide

Attendance Matters: A Parent’s Guide (Irish)

Miss School, Miss Out (Video)