St. Luke’s School, Douglas
Changing social habits and patterns necessitated the updating of the school’s attendance policy. The redrafting was a collaborative process involving staff and Board of Management, following initial drafting by a representative group.
The main factors contributing to the formulation of a revised policy could be summarized as follows:
a) The changing fabric of society
b) The influx of non-nationals
c) The roll of the N.E.W.B
d) Legislative requirements such as the Education Welfare Act 2000
e) Changing attitudes to education
Aims and Objectives:
The revised policy is geared towards
- Encouraging full attendance where possible
- Identifying pupils at risk
- Promoting a positive learning environment
- Enabling learning opportunities to be availed of
- Raising awareness of the importance of school attendance
- Fostering an appreciation of learning
Compliance with School Ethos
This policy complements the school ethos of nurturing potential in a caring environment where the welfare of children is paramount.
Roles and Responsibilities:
All staff have an input into the implementation of the policy. Class teacher’s record individual patterns of attendance and the deputy principal makes returns to N.E.W.B. The Deputy Principal has responsibility for maintaining the Roll books and attendance books.
Individual school attendance is recorded in the Leabhair Rolla of each class and class date is recorded in the Leabhair Tinreamh. All children attending and data on parents are recorded in the school register.
A note from parents/guardians is required to cover each absence and these are dated and kept by the teacher. Parents are made aware of the requirements of the N.E.W. B particularly the by-law relating to absences of more than 20 days per school year.
- Traditionally, school attendance is strong in our school and has not been adversely affected by social changes. However, staff remain vigilant so that risk students are identified early. Risk students can be categorised as those who miss more than 5 days in a 20 day period without an accompanying note of explanation from parents/guardians. Appropriate contact takes place between school and parent/guardians either via letter or note in the homework diary when this occurs. A meeting between parents and Principal may be set up if deemed necessary. Absences of more than 20 days are automatically referred to the Education Welfare Officer.
Communication with other Schools
- When a child transfers from St. Luke’s N.S to another school, schools records on attendance, academic progress etc will be forwarded on receipt of written notification of the transfer.
- When a child transfers into St. Luke’s N.S confirmation of transfer will be communicated to the child’s previous school, and appropriate records sought.
- Records of Pupils transferring from St. Luke’s N.S to a Post Primary school will be forwarded on receipt of confirmation of enrolment.
Communication with Parents
The school circulated the N.E.W.B information booklet “Don’t Let Your Child Miss Out” to all parents in February 2005. The school also informs all parents of the implications of non-attendance as per the Education Welfare Act 2000. Regular school circulars disseminate this information. Parents of new children are informed on enrolment.
The school promotes good attendance by
- Creating a safe and welcoming environment
- Ensuring children are happy
- Displaying kindness, compassion and understanding
- Being vigilant so that risks to good attendance such as disadvantage, bullying, etc. are identified early
- Sometimes rewarding good attendance with certificates. This practice was discontinued recently.
National Education Welfare Board
The Education Welfare Officer is informed if:
a) A child is expelled
b) A child is suspended
c) A child has missed more than 20 days
The N.E.W.B is furnished with the total attendances in the school year through the Annual Report Form that is completed on-line or sent by post.
The success of any Attendance policy is measured through
- Improved attendance levels
- Happy, confident, well adjusted children
- Positive parental feedback
- Teacher vigilance
Implementation/Ratification and Review:
This policy has been in operation in St. Luke’s N.S. since 2006 and was updated in 2008. It will be reviewed again in 2012
- Don’t let your Child Miss Out – NEWB 2004
- Education Welfare Act 2000
- Section 29 Education Act
- “Empty Desks”- C.D.U. Mary Immaculate