Statement of Strategy for School Attendance
Springdale National School, Lough Derg Road, Raheny, Dublin 5 (18646B)
This policy document was drawn up to ensure and maintain a high level of attendance at school by all pupils. In Springdale National School we believe that promoting good attendance habits from the very beginning of a child’s time at school is very important.
Under the terms of the Education Welfare Act 2000 (amended by the Child and Family Agency Act 2013) schools are obliged to:
• Maintain a record of students attending school
• Record school attendance and notify the relevant Educational Welfare Officer of particular problems relating to attendance
• Support students with difficulties in attending school on a regular basis
• Prepare and implement a school attendance strategy to encourage, in a positive way, regular school attendance and an appreciation of learning within the school
• Liaise with other schools and relevant bodies on school attendance issues
Through our Strategy for School Attendance we aim to:
• Raise an awareness of the importance of school attendance
• Encourage full attendance where possible
• Encourage punctuality
• Promote a school culture where every child feels valued, trusted and respected
• Promote a stimulating, positive learning environment
• Develop, subject to available resources, links between the school and the families of children who may be at risk of developing attendance problems
• Identify and remove, insofar as is practicable, obstacles to school attendance.
• To reduce the percentage of children who have missed 20 days or more in 2016/2017 from 7.5% to < 4% over the next two years.
• To reduce the overall percentage of absenteeism in 2016/2017 from 4.6% to 3% over the next two years.
Springdale National School’s Approach to Attendance:
• Parents are requested to phone the school before roll call if their child will be absent.
• Parents are asked to complete an absence form following their child’s absence from school, indicating reason for absence and number of days missed.
• The roll is taken at 9.30 am each morning by the class teacher.
• The secretary monitors students who arrive late and records the time they arrive and reason for late arrival.
• The school secretary records attendance on Aladdin each morning following roll call at 9.30 am.
• The BOM are informed of cases reported to Tusla after 20 days of absences.
Promoting Good Attendance:
• Good attendance is promoted through fostering a stimulating, positive learning environment where every child feels valued, trusted and respected.
• Children are rewarded with certificates for full attendance at the end of the year.
• Children who miss only one or two days are also rewarded with certificates for consistent and regular school attendance.
• Parents are discouraged from taking holidays during the school term.
Responding to Poor Attendance:
• Parents are contacted by the class teacher when children are absent regularly, especially if there is an obvious pattern in their absences, e.g., Mondays or Fridays.
• Parents of children who are consistently late are contacted by the class teacher.
• Parents who find it difficult to encourage reluctant children to come to school are offered support.
• Parents are asked to indicate reasons for absences on the Absence Form (See Appendix 1)
• Teachers will complete the Educational Welfare Services Pre-Referral Checklist to help address Poor Attendance (See Appendix 2).
• Using the Educational Welfare Services Referral Form, the Principal will notify Tusla of children who miss more than 20 days in the school year (See Appendix 3).
The class teacher will:
• Take the roll call at 9.30 am each day
• Distribute and collect Absence Forms and file accordingly
• Regularly discuss the importance of full attendance and punctuality at class level
• Inform the Principal of his/her concerns regarding the attendance of any pupil
• Complete the Educational Welfare Services Pre-Referral Checklist to help address Poor Attendance (See Appendix 2)
The school secretary will:
• Record Attendance/Absence on Aladdin School Administration Software each day
• Phone parents if they have not contacted the school on the first morning of their child’s absence
• Monitor students who arrive late and record the time they arrive and reason for late arrival
The principal will:
• Promote full attendance through positive reinforcement
• Ensure that the school register of pupils is maintained in accordance with regulations
• Submit Quarterly Returns to Tusla
• Inform Tusla of children who miss more than 20 days in the school year using the Educational Welfare Services Referral Form (See Appendix 3)
Communication with Parents/Guardians
• Springdale National School promotes an ‘Open Door Policy’ whereby parents are encouraged to inform teachers/the Principal of concerns they may have regarding their child. It is hoped that regular communication will help to prevent/resolve any issues which could lead to poor attendance.
• The calendar for each coming school year is published annually in June on the school website and a copy is published in the homework journal. It is hoped that this approach will enable parents/guardians to plan family events around school closures, thus minimising the chances of non-attendance related to family holidays during the school term.
• At the end of the school year, each teacher will review the attendance patterns of the class for the year. The attendance of each pupil will be reported to parents/guardians on their child’s report card.
The success of any Attendance Policy is measured through:
• Improved attendance levels as measured through Leabhar rolla records and statistical returns
• Happy, confident children who enjoy being in school
• Positive parental feedback
This policy will be reviewed in 2019 – every 2 years initially.
This policy was adopted and ratified by the Board of Management in October 2017.
Chairperson, Board of Management.
Submission to Tusla
This Statement of Strategy for School Attendance was submitted to Tusla in October 2017.