This policy applies to the students, staff and parents of Elphin Community College and relates to all aspects of school attendance. This policy was drawn up in consultation with all the school partners, including the Board of Management, staff, parents and students.
- RELATIONSHIP TO THE SCHOOL’S MISSION, VISION AND AIMS
Our school exists to serve the educational needs of the community which we serve. We aspire to provide an environment which acknowledges educational achievement, enhances student self-confidence promotes life skills and attitudes which will enable students to live fulfilling lives and so contribute to the betterment of society. We actively aspire to develop partnership between teachers, parents and the wider community.
Elphin Community College Attendance Policy involves helping each student develop to their full potential, both socially and educationally. In Elphin Community College we believe this can only happen where each student is encouraged to attend punctually every day.
In Elphin Community College we have identified attendance as an area of focus. This strategy is intended to foster a good mature attitude towards attendance.
Through implementation of this strategy Elphin Community College expects to:
- To encourage full attendance at school.
- To highlight the importance of punctuality and attendance amongst students and parents.
- To positively enforce punctual attendance morning and evening and at each class throughout the day.
- To maintain an effective attendance record-keeping system through our VSware
- To develop suitable intervention strategies to improve school attendance and punctuality.
- POLICY CONTENT
Under legislation every child must attend school regularly up to sixteen years of age or complete at least three years education in a post primary school; whichever comes later. TUSLA was established to support school attendance and follow up on children who are not attending school regularly.
As a parent you must notify the school if your child is absent and the reason why. It is school policy that explanations must be given in writing. The school will notify TUSLA if a child is absent for 20 days or more or where the absence gives rise for concern. This is outlined below:
5.2 The Education (Welfare) Act 2000, Section 18
Where a child is absent from the school at which he or she is registered during part of the school day, or for a school day or more than a school day, the parent of such child shall, in accordance with procedures specified in the Code of Behaviour, prepared by the school under section 23, notify the Principal of the school of the reasons for the child’s absence.
5.3 The Education (Welfare) Act 2000, Section 21 (4)
The Principal of the school concerned shall inform, by notice of writing to the Educational Welfare Officer,
1) A student is suspended from a recognised school for a period of not less than 6 days.
2) The aggregate number of school days on which a student is absent from a recognised school during a school year is not less than 20 days.
Elphin Community College recognises the importance of good attendance and punctuality. Regular or prolonged absences will have a negative impact on a student’s learning and development and therefore should be avoided whenever possible. The school has an Attendance Strategy in place, the aim of which is to promote good attendance in the school. Poor punctuality has a similarly negative impact on the learning of the student, and has the further effect of disrupting the class into which the student is arriving late. The guidelines below should be adhered to by all students.
- The school day begins at 9.00a.m. Students are expected to be in their classrooms by 9.00 a.m.
- 2. Lunch is from 15 p.m. to 2.00 p.m. and students are expected to be in their classrooms by 2.00 p.m. upon their return from lunch. Students who arrive late to school in the morning (after 9.00a.m.) and the afternoon (after 2.00 p.m.) must report to the office and sign the late book.
- When a student is absent, the student must present an absence note on the day they return to school.
- A student may not leave school during the school day without permission;
- If a student needs to attend an appointment, they must present an appointment slip or note and sign out.
- If a student leaves school and does not return on the same day, an absence note is required on return to school.
- If a student has no note he/she may not leave school without permission.
Students will receive sanctions for unexcused absences and lateness in accordance with the Elphin Community College Code of Behaviour.
PUPILS attending classes in Elphin Community College
- Pupils should go to and return from classes in an orderly and prompt manner.
- Students must respect the authority of the Principal and teachers of Elphin Community College.
- Attendance at classes in Elphin Community College will be recorded and monitored.
- ATTENDANCE INCENTIVES
Elphin Community College will recognise students who achieve full attendance in the school year by presenting the students with a certificate of full attendance or improved attendance at Award Ceremonies during the school year and writing their attendance record on the student report cards. Merits are also awarded to students for attendance.
- DISCIPLINARY CONSEQUENCES
7.1 Disciplinary actions consistent with the Code of Behaviour will be imposed by the Principal/ Deputy for unexcused absences.
The remaining content of this policy outlines in detail the whole school approach to the following attendance and punctuality procedures:
- Daily monitoring of attendance at 9.00am and 2.00pm.
- Daily monitoring of punctuality at 9.00am and 2.00pm.
- Recording of daily attendance.
- Recording lateness.
- Recording notes and communications.
- Recording early departures and Elphin Community College attendance.
- Communicating with parents when concerns arise.
- ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Elphin Community College acknowledges the contribution of all members of the school community in the implementation of this Attendance Policy.
8.1 PRINCIPAL AND DEPUTY PRINCIPAL
- The Principal and Deputy Principal to carry out spot checks on absences.
- The Principal will inform parents in a letter, both in May and September, that family holidays during school term are ill-advised and inhibit educational progress.
- Apply disciplinary procedures to students for unexcused absences and lateness, consistent with Elphin Community College Code of Behaviour and the TUSLA legislation on attendance.
- If a student has no note they may not leave school without permission.
- All teachers will keep individual class attendance records for every class taught on VSware.
- Teachers will report student absences if necessary.
- Students away for school activities must not be marked absent.
- Promote and encourage good attendance in class.
- Teachers may communicate with parents/guardians at parent teacher meetings on the importance and value of good attendance.
- Students must present absence notes on the day they return to school.
- It is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation (e.g. appointment slips, notes etc.) and present them to the office for all appointments that will prevent them from attending a class. Such documentation should be presented prior to their release from school.
- Students must sign the late book if late arriving to school in the morning and the afternoon.
- If a student has no note they may not leave school without permission from the Principal or Deputy Principal.
- Students will receive sanctions for unexcused absences and lateness in accordance with the Code of Behaviour.