St James’s Primary School Attendance Policy
This policy was devised in conjunction with all other schools in SCP Dublin 8 Liberties Cluster.
To support student attendance, engagement and success in education, St James’s Primary School provides a range of supportive school attendance strategies.
The aim of St James’s Primary School Attendance Policy is to:
- Ensure all children have equal opportunities to learn
- Maximize the learning days available to students in the school year
- Help parents comply with their legal obligations under the Education Welfare Act, 2000 with regards to school attendance
Monitoring of school attendance and punctuality identifies students at risk and allows the early implementation of intervention strategies.
Attendance / Parental Responsibility
Under the Education Welfare Act, 2000 Section 17, parents are legally obliged to send their child to school. Class teachers of St James’s Primary School therefore record the attendance of all students everyday the school is open. This includes the recording of non-school attendance due to illness or any other absences.
Under Section 18 of the Education Welfare Act, 2000 parents are also obliged to notify the school of the reason for the child’s absence.
School Attendance Strategies / procedures for dealing with school absenteeism
St James’s Primary School has school procedures in place for dealing with a pupil’s school absenteeism where:
- A student has been absent for more than twelve unexplained days in a school year
- The school has concerns about a pupil’s continued absences
- Regular review of overall school’s absenteeism by attendance leader with School Principal and HSCLT
Positive School Attendance Strategy to motivate and prevent schoolabsenteeism
The following strategies will be used as appropriate:
- Children are welcomed to school everyday
- Positive affirmation of school attendance at the Roll call each morning
- In school Sports Programmes
- Art Programme – such as Creativity in the Classroom
- Parental involvement encouraged
- Roll visits/classroom visits by EWO
- Whole class and whole school rewards re: attendance – e.g. attendance days, attendance awards, whole school approach to the encouragement of positive attendance
- Special jobs in school linked to positive attendance
- Annual awards for attendance – school will be certified by the NEWB
- Links made with community projects to support positive school attendance
St James’s Primary School Early Intervention Strategy for Pupils with Problematic Absences
- Informal ongoing contact with parents to encourage attendance
- Standardised letters to be sent by the school at 12 unexplained absences and again at twenty unexplained absences. A letter will also be sent after twenty absences which include explained and unexplained absences
- The HSCLT will speak with the parent/guardian after twenty unexplained absences
- If there is no improvement in the attendance after this intervention a referral to the NEWB/Core Target Group is considered
- The HSCLT will oversee the early intervention and sending of standardised letters
- Positive affirmation of attendance each day in the classroom
- Roll/classroom visits by EWO
St James’s Primary School Attendance Strategy for Pupils with high absenteeism – Core Target Group Strategy
- Individual pupil referral form completed for each pupil with chronic absenteeism to NEWB for structured work regarding absenteeism
- Integrated service work by the NEWB, SCP, HSCLT and the school on pupils that are part of the referral list or Core Target Group of the school
- Direct work may include – daily monitoring on a chart system, follow up by school on absent days, monthly attendance meetings, monthly NEWB monitoring letter, incentives/awards that support attendance chart, regular attendance certificates, actions by NEWB on a monthly basis – home visits, educational reviews, telephone calls, letters and interagency work
- School Roll visits by NEWB are also part of the Core Target Group strategy – proposed to take place every six weeks/2 months
- Possible issue of a School Attendance Notice and court prosecution if no significant improvement made 24 weeks after initial referral received by the NEWB
St James’s Primary School Attendance Strategy to include parents
- Parents consulted on Draft Plan
- Parents made aware of School Attendance Policy
- Daily greeting of parents in school yard
- Attendance noted at parent/teacher meetings
- Annual awards ceremony for excellent & improving attendees
- Liaising supportively with parents in the Core Target Group
- Referral to appropriate agencies for support – ie Family Support, NEPS, CAMHS
Evaluation / Monitoring of St James’s Primary School Attendance
- St James’s Primary School has assigned an attendance leader within the school to encourage regular school attendance
- The Educational Welfare Officer will inspect the Roll books at St James’s Primary School, Basin Lane
- Regular meetings with EWO, SCP, HSCL and attendance leader
This School Attendance Policy was drawn up in consultation with school staff, School Management, parents, HSCL, SCP and the EWO.
This policy will be reviewed in 2015.