Attendance Strategy

Introduction
There is a very strong tradition of good attendance in our St. Mary’s N.S. However, as stated in our code of behaviour we expect that parents/guardians be aware of the absolute necessity for regular punctual attendance at school. Quite simply, children cannot learn if they are not in school.

Rationale and Attendance Record
Pupil’s attendance rates for the past five years are as follows:
2006/2007 95.57%
2007/2008 94.80%
2008/2009 95.57%
2009/2010 96.00%
2010/2011 95.74%
2011/2012 95.92%
2012/2013 95.50%

In October 2010 our pupils were awarded ‘The Cullen Cup’ for best overall attendance rate for a primary school in Waterford City. It was presented to our pupils by Cllr. Mary Roche Mayor of Waterford

Aims

  • To promote and foster positive attitudes to learning
  • To raise awareness of the importance of full attendance
  • To raise awareness of the importance of punctuality
  • To ensure compliance with the requirements of relevant legislation
  • To identify pupils at risk

Strategies
The following strategies are in place to help foster an appreciation of learning and good punctual attendance:

  • Special mention at school assemblies
  • Reward in accordance with code of behaviour
  • Presentation of certificates for full attendance by Mayor of Waterford City every October
  • As stated in Code of Behaviour, parents/guardians are expected to write a note/letter notifying the teacher of the reason for their child’s absence once the child returns to school.
  • The teacher keeps record and notes the reason for the pupil’s absence, especially those that are at risk of developing school attendance problems

These are categorised as follows;

  • Irregular Absentee: 2/5 days absent in a 20-day period without a valid reason
  • Seriously Irregular Absentee: 6/10 days absent in a 20-day period without a valid reason
  • Chronic Absentee: 11+ days absent in a 20-day period without a valid reason

Appropriate contact will take place between the school and parents/guardians of these children:

  • For irregular absenteeism, the class teacher will inform the parents by letter of her/his concerns about their child and seek to meet the parents to discuss the matter
  • For seriously irregular absenteeism, the Principal will write to the parents inviting them to a meeting to discuss the problem
  • For chronic absenteeism the Principal will inform the Education Welfare Officer for Waterford and notify the parents of this by letter

Communication
Our school communicates effectively with parents/guardians through school website, school newsletter, ‘text-a-parent’ service and notes home.

NEWB Annual Returns

Principal will make quarterly returns to National Education Welfare Board is accordance with their guidelines for ‘Reporting of Student Absences for a School Year’

School Transfers

  • Attendance, behaviour and academic records of children who transfer to another primary school will be forwarded to the Principal of the school by post as soon as written confirmation of this transfer is received.
  • Attendance, behaviour and academic records of children who transfer into our school will be sought directly from the previous school.
  • Attendance, behaviour and Academic records of pupils transferring to secondary school will be sent to the school once enrolment has been confirmed.

Roles and Responsibility

The following people have a responsibility for the successful implementation of this strategy

  • Principal
  • Class Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Parents/Guardians
  • Pupil
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Board of Management

Success Criteria

An increase in annual pupil attendance rates

This strategy was ratification by the Board of Management in June 2011.