This policy was devised in conjunction with all other schools in the Schools Completion Programme, Dublin 8/Liberties Cluster.
To support student attendance, engagement and success in education St. Audoen’s National School provides a range of supportive school attendance strategies.
The aim of St. Audoen’s National School’s 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. Audoen’s National School therefore record the attendance of all students every day 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. Audoen’s National School has 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; or
- the school has concerns about a pupil’s continued absences
Positive School Attendance Strategy
The following strategies will be used as appropriate:
- School welcoming policy implemented daily.
- Positive affirmation of school attendance at the Roll call each morning.
- After school clubs
- In school Sports’ Programmes
- Computer Projects
- Rewards such as Golden Hour, outings, etc.
- Parental involvement encouraged
- Regular Roll visits / classroom visits by EWO.
- Whole class and Whole school rewards re: attendance – i.e. attendance days, attendance awards, whole school approach to awards and encouragement of positive attendance
- Special jobs in school linked to positive attendance.
- Annual awards for attendance – School will be certified by the NEWB
- Community links made with community project to support positive school attendance.
Early Intervention Strategy for Pupils with Problematic Absences :
- Informal on-going contact with parents to encourage attendance.
- Standardised letters to be sent by the school at 12 days unexplained absence and again at 18 days unexplained absence.
- Parent is requested by the school to attend a meeting in the school after 18 days unexplained absence.
- If no improvement in the attendance after this school meeting a referral to the NEWB / Core Target Group is considered.
- HSCL will oversee the early intervention and sending of standardised letters.
- Positive affirmation of attendance each day in the classroom.
- Regular Roll / Classroom visits by EWO.
- Standard agenda of school attendance on all staff meetings and regular review of overall school’s absenteeism with school principal and HSCL teacher.
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, HSCL 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 are also part of the Core Target Group – 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.
Attendance Strategy to include parents
- Parents consulted on draft plan
- Parents updated yearly of the school’s School Attendance Policy
- Daily greeting of parents in school yard
- Attendance noted at parent/teacher meetings
- Annual awards ceremony for excellent attenders
- Clear communication regarding the work involved in each attendance strategy
- Term newsletter to parents from school to include mention of attendance
Attendance Strategy for referrals / supports
- Issue preventing attendance identified and appropriate referral made
Evaluation / Monitoring of School Attendance
- HSCL teacher encourages regular school attendance and therefore the Attendance Policy will be regularly reviewed with school management.
- The Board of Management will be regularly updated regarding school attendance.
- The Educational Welfare Officer will regularly inspect the Roll books.
This School Attendance Policy was drawn up in consultation with School Staff, School Management, Parents, HSCL, SCP and the EWO Elizabeth Hoyne