Information for Parents

TCS School Attendance Policy

ATTENDANCE POLICY


Scope

Basic principles

This policy is a school-based policy, for implementation by all staff, students, parents and Board of Management.
This policy strives to set out the basic principles upon which the School Attendance Strategy will be implemented, sustained and evaluated in our school.
This policy itself has been developed (through a partnership committee representing / in consultation with) the Board of Management, parents, staff and students.

Rationale

Education is important

In this school we are educators first. Education is the foundation stone upon which a child’s development for later life is built. Parents are the primary educators and as such are primarily responsible for ensuring that their children receive the education which they have a right to and deserve. The school is here to support and enhance this education. Attendance at school and full participation in school life is therefore extremely important. Research has shown that poor attendance and poor participation are directly linked to low educational achievement and early school leaving.

An environment where children want to come to school

The school wants to work in partnership with parents to ensure that an environment is created where children look forward to coming to school and participating in school life.
The school wants to create conditions where children see that it is in their own interest to come to school regularly.
The school and parents have certain obligations under the Education Welfare Act 2000 regarding attendance and participation.

Policy Goals

Meeting educational and personal needs

This policy statement will:
* Assist towards developing a school environment where all students feel welcome in the school, and where their educational and personal needs are met within the resources provided to the school
* Implement the monitoring and recording aspects of the School’s Attendance Strategy
* Highlight the importance of regular attendance
* Encourage regular attendance and participation in school life
* Encourage good communication between parents and the school
* Establish procedures for the monitoring of attendance and non- attendance
* Establish procedures for the attendance record-keeping for the school, students, parents and National Education and Welfare Board (NEWB)
* Develop working partnerships between the school and other relevant agencies and services, such as the NEWB
* Support students and parents where there are attendance problems through interventions involving Home School Liaison, Pastoral Care, the NEWB, school counseling and the School Completion Programme. Content of Policy

Parents / Guardians

Expectation of all students

The school expects ALL students registered in the school to attend all timetabled classes every day.
If your son/ daughter is absent from school for a day or part of a day then the school must receive an explanation in writing – dated and signed by a parent/guardian.

Legal  responsibility

If your son/ daughter is under 16 years, it is your legal responsibility to ensure that your child attends school every day.  If he/she is absent, a written and dated explanation will be required on his/her return.

Referral to the National Education and Welfare Board(NEWB)

If your son/daughter is absent for a total of 20 days or more during the school year, the school is legally obliged to report this to the NEWB. This report must be made irrespective of the reasons why your son/daughter is absent. If the school is very concerned about the pattern of your  son/daughter’s absences then the school may wish to inform the NEWB.The school will always inform you if a report is being made to the NEWB.


School calendar and timetable

The school calendar contains details of the opening and closing times of the school and the school holidays.
Also contained is information about parent-teacher meetings and staff meetings. As the year progresses, it may occasionally be necessary to make changes to the calendar in order to accommodate unscheduled school meetings.  Please ensure that you are familiar with your child’s class timetable.

Holidays

Students are not to be taken out of school for holidays during term time.

Absence from school.

Parents/Guardians must submit a note of explanation following all absences.

Extended absences

In the event of long term absence, parents/guardians are asked to maintain contact with school authorities.

Medical  appointments etc.

If your son/ daughter has your permission to leave school for a medical / dental appointment, please ensure that you have given him/ her a dated note.

Recording of attendance

Roll call takes place each morning.
Attendance is recorded in each class.

School Reports

End of term reports will contain the number of days that your son/daughter has missed to date. If you have any queries about this please contact the school.

Communication
At the core of all relationships in the school is mutual respect and understanding, supported by good communication. Our School Attendance Policy will only work if there is good communication between home and school. Please contact the school if there are any matters of concern. All matters will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Implementation

This policy will be implemented by the Board of Management in a spirit of partnership through consultation with the school partners, within the available resources of the school.