Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance Policy

Introduction

This policy is informed by the vision of Old Bawn Community School. Old Bawn Community School recognises that excellent attendance and punctuality are some of the biggest contributors to effective learning and maximises teaching time.

 

Rationale

Good attendance and punctuality enables a student to participate in their education in Old Bawn Community School. It promotes a positive learning environment for all. It is our view that should a student struggle to maintain good attendance and/or experiencing difficulties with punctuality, it may indicate that they are experiencing difficulties in other areas.

 

The rationale underpinning the formulation of this policy is as follows:

  • To comply with the Education Welfare Act 2000.
  • To form habits of regular and punctual attendance by our students.
  • To discourage absenteeism, lateness and unwarranted withdrawal of students during the school day or term.
  • To develop a sense of personal responsibility in our students.
  • To enable us to identify students who may be at risk and put supports in place to assist them

 

Vision

This policy complements the holistic school ethos of nurturing the potential of every child in a caring environment. This policy will utilise existing pastoral strategies in our school and will encourage the involvement of all school partners.

 

Aims

  • Encourage full attendance and excellent punctuality
  • Accurately record student attendance
  • Identify patterns of poor attendance and/or punctuality and implement strategies to attempt to correct this.
  • Implement strategies to encourage excellent attendance and punctuality
  • Promote a positive learning experience
  • Adhere to the guidelines as set out by the Child and Family Agency, TUSLA
  • Adhere to the Education Welfare Act 2000

 

Supporting Documents

Learning Code

Admissions Policy

Online Learning Policy

Tusla Statement of Strategy for School Attendance

Education Welfare Act 2000

 

 

Roles and Responsibilities

Senior Leadership Team

  • To ensure that adequate systems are in place to accurately record attendance and absences of students
  • To train and inform new staff on procedures to promote attendance and punctuality.
  • To report to Tusla as required by the Education Welfare Act 2000
  • To support Year Head Teams as required to meet with parents/guardians and/or students who have attendance and punctuality issues and work with the team to put interventions in place to try and change the behaviour.
  • To liaise with Attendance Officer to monitor attendance and punctuality records regularly
  • To encourage students to be punctual and in attendance
  • To inform parents/guardians and students of procedures for the notification of absences.

 

Attendance Officer

  • To liaise with Year Heads on Tusla returns – complete the Tusla returns and cross check on supports put in place prior to submission
  • To bring students with attendance issues to the attention of the Principal.
  • To liaise with Year Head in identifying at risk students.
  • To liaise with SEN and Integr8 co-ordinators for implementing strategies for supporting at risk students.
  • To work with students notified to Officer via Year Head (persistent unexplained absences, those reaching 15 days).
  • To develop positive strategies for encouraging full attendance
  • To ensure that contact with parents/guardians has been made when students reach 15 days absent.
  • To collect data on attendance in order to assess success of strategies termly.

 

Year Head

  • To monitor attendance and punctuality of students in their year group on a weekly basis.
  • To remind parents/guardians of their legal responsibilties at Year Head/Parent Meetings.
  • To contact parent/guardian should a parent/guardian fail to provide a valid explanation for absences/lates or if these behaviours are reoccurring.
  • To meet with students and/or parents/guardians who are at risk, identify and offer the necessary supports to improve attendance and punctuality.
  • To liaise with the Attendance Officer when a student’s absences reach 15 days.
  • To work with their team to identify students who are at risk, to implement strategies to promote good attendance and punctuality

 

Student Development Officer

  • To speak with students with unexplained late(s) and/or absences and give the student(s) the opportunity to obtain a valid explanation for their parent/guardian
  • To inform the Year Head of unexplained absences

 

Tutor

  • To check all absent and late notes for students in their tutor class.
  • To identify students with unexplained absences to the Student Development Officer.

 

Classroom Teacher

  • To record attendance accurately in every class using VSware.
  • To amend the original record of attendance in the class should a student arrive late.
  • To create a warm welcoming environment for returning students.
  • To discuss attendance/punctuality with parents/guardians at Parent Teacher Meetings.

 

Student

  • To present to school every day 5 minutes before class starts at 8:40am.
  • To respond to their name when attendance is being recorded by the classroom teacher.
  • To move promptly to class between classes.
  • To present a note for any absence(s) and/or late(s).
  • To remain in the school building for the entire day, unless a note is presented and signed by the Year Head to leave the building. In these circumstances, students must present the signed note to the main office and sign out. In the absence of the Year Head, the Deputy Principal or Student Development Officer may sign the note.

 

Parent/Guardian

  • To inform themselves of the expectations of excellent attendance and punctuality
  • To provide a valid explanation for any late(s)/absence(s) of their son(s)/daughter(s).
  • To work in collaboration with the school if any issues are notified.
  • To encourage their son(s)/daughter(s) to attend school, be on time and support them in achieving this.
  • To provide the school with reliable contact telephone numbers, addresses and alternative emergency numbers so that the school may contact parents/guardians or other authorised parties if necessary

 

School Strategies to Promote Attendance

Environment

  • Old Bawn Community School provides a safe, welcoming, positive learning environment for our students.
  • Old Bawn Community School encourages excellent punctuality and attendance by rewarding students with certificates and prizes at the annual Prize Giving ceremony.
  • Students are encouraged to have perfect attendance and will be acknowledged throughout the year with different incentives eg pizza party.

Communication

  • Old Bawn Community School uses a variety of communication methods – the student journal, VSware, oldbawncs.ie, the school app and text messages.
  • Old Bawn Community School encourages regular communication between all stakeholders to ensure that poor attendance and/or punctuality is not a consequence of another issue such as lack of materials, issues with homework or difficulties with the curriculum.

Reports

  • Old Bawn Community School will report attendance to parents/guardians at Parent Teacher Meetings and in the printed school reports. Additionally, parents/guardians have access to VSware daily.
  • The policy will be monitored on an on-going basis by the Attendance Officer in consultation with Senior Management.

 

Review Procedures

  • This policy will be reviewed and/or as needs arise.

Ratified November 2020