Name of school
Lumcloon National School
Lumcloon, Cloghan, Birr, Co. Offaly
The school’s vision and values in relation to attendance
The Board of Management, teachers and staff of Lumcloon National School are committed to providing a positive and caring school atmosphere which is conducive to promoting good school attendance.
The school’s high expectations around attendance
The majority of pupils of Lumcloon National School are punctual and have excellent attendance records.The teachers, staff and management endeavour to promote a culture of co-operation among pupils, parents/guardians and staff in maintaining the current level of attendance and punctuality throughout the school year whilst aiming to encourage better attendance levels which poor or inconsistent.
How attendance will be monitored
Procedures for recording attendance are laid out in the school’s Attendance Policy
- The school attendance of individual pupils is recorded daily by the class teacher on Aladdin.
- The class teacher records explained and unexplained absences.
- The class teacher notifies the Principal of concerns regarding the attendance of any child and/or when the pupil reaches 15 days absence.
Reporting to the Board of Management
- The Principal provides updates on concerns around attendance if appropriate at a meeting of the School Board of Management.
Annual Attendance Reports
- The Deputy Principal reviews annual school attendance statistics and compares them with previous years to identify patterns of poor attendance. An annual attendance report is presented to the school Board of Management.
Summary of the main elements of the school’s approach to attendance:
- Target setting and targets
The whole-school approach Promoting good attendance Responding to poor attendance
Targets for School Attendance
- To review and update the school Attendance Policy.
- To raise awareness of attendance among management, staff, students and parents.
- To raise awareness of the vital role parents play in their child’s school attendance.
- To enhance the school’s capacity to manage attendance data by setting up and utilising a computerised system (Aladdin)
- To put in place strategies to ensure the early detection and correction of patterns of poor attendance.
- To develop suitable intervention strategies to support individual students with poor attendance and their parents.
- To further develop working partnerships between the school and other relevant agencies and servicers.
- To raise awareness of strategies to minimise the spread of common illnesses within the school.
- To provide guidance to parents and staff on school absences arising from common illnesses.
- The Whole School Approach
Whole School Approach
- The Board of Management has ultimate responsibility for the promotion and monitoring of attendance in the school.·
- Management and staff work as a team with consistent approach to attendance.·
- Parents and students have opportunities to contribute to and take appropriate responsibility for attendance policy and strategy.
- Promoting Good Attendance
Strategies for promoting good school attendance
Raising Awareness of Attendance
- The school recognises the importance of raising awareness about the importance of attendance.
- The Principal addresses the importance of good attendance at the initial meeting for new parents.
- Attendance is discussed at Board of Management, Staff, Parent Association and Student Council meetings and parent-teacher meetings.
- Updates on attendance are provided in the school newsletter and on the school website.
- Tusla’s Education Welfare Services’ leaflet entitled Don’t Let Your Child Miss Out is distributed to parents on enrolment
- Class teachers provide positive affirmation of attendance when roll is being taken.
- Records of attendance are provided on pupil end of year reports·
- Records of attendance are provided on a student’s Education Passport
- Involving Parents in Setting High Expectations for Attendance
The school recognises that parental involvement is of paramount importance to students’ well-being and success in school generally and in particular their attendance at school. Parental involvement is fostered by;
- Regular communication between parents and the school
- Parental involvement in school life e.g. attendance at concerts, school events and class meetings.· An active Parent Association which all parents are encouraged to join
- Opportunities for parents to review proposed policies·
In addition to this;
- The calendar for the coming year is published annually in June and a copy is posted to all parents with the end of year newsletter. Parents are encouraged to plan holidays and family events around school closures.
- The school highlights to parents how missed days can have a negative effect on the student’s achievement and thus cause stress.
3. Providing Support Programmes to Enhance Attendance The school endeavours to provide support programmes to promote attendance;
- Enrichment and sporting activities are provided. Enrichment and sporting activities are both co-curricular (e.g. school choir, badminton coaching) and extra-curricular (gaelic football, Peace Proms Concert and Vex Robotics Challenge).
- Pupils are given opportunities to participate in decision making and to assume leadership roles in the school e.g. the Student Council, The Amber Flag Committee and Green Schools Committee.
- A “Buddy” system is in place where sixth class pupils volunteer to support Junior Infant pupils adjust to school routines.
4. Rewarding Good Attendance
Good attendance is noted and acknowledged but care is taken to ensure pupils in our ASD classes are not discouraged as their attendance must be seen in the light of their diagnosis and how unforeseen disruption to routine can impact their ability to attend on a daily basis.
Responding to Poor Attendance.
1. Monitoring attendance
- The attendance rates of individual pupils will be monitored by the class teacher in the first instance. The class teacher will notify the Principal of concerns regarding the attendance of any child.
- Parents will be informed in writing by the Principal when their child has been absent for 15 days.
- Emerging patterns of poor attendance are monitored by the Principal weekly and annually to identify class-groups or sub-groups of students in need of support.
- Tailoring whole-school approaches to group or individual needs
The school identifies and supports students who may need additional support including pupils with special educational needs, students with health needs, students who have experienced bullying, students experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties.
- Internal communication procedures are in place to inform teachers of pupils who may need additional support.
- The school curriculum, insofar as is practicable, is flexible and relevant to the needs of the individual child.
- The school promotes development of good self-concept and self-worth in the children through SPHE.
- Support for pupils who have special educational needs are in place in accordance with Department of Education guidelines.
- Communicating Concerns
- Teachers make every effort to engage in early dialogue with parents and students on attendance both informally and formally e.g. highlighting attendance patterns during Parent Teacher meetings.
- Parents are informed in writing by the Principal when their child has been absent for 15 days.
- Parents are invited to meet with the Principal to formally discuss concerns about pupil absences and to put in place strategies to improve pupil attendance.
- Pupils with a poor attendance record will, insofar as is practical, be supported in an effort to improve their attendance.
- The school will, insofar as is practical, respond to underlying reasons for non-attendance e.g. sickness, bullying, inappropriate curriculum.
- Using school-led multi-agency support process
- The school consults with the National Educational Psychological Service (N.E.P.S.) and relevant external personnel who have a particular expertise to support students, families and the school with poor attendance.
- The school works with social and child support services including Tusla – Child and Family Agency and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) as well as child welfare organisations such as Bernardo’s
- Referral to Tusla’s Educational Welfare Service
- The school complies fully with reporting procedures to TUSLA and liaises with the education welfare officer when necessary. Details of reporting procedures are set out in the school Attendance Policy.
School roles in relation to attendance
The Board of Management will
- Play an active role in reviewing and developing the Statement of Strategy.
- Ensure that all the measures required to promote and support attendance, in line with the School Attendance Guidelines, are in place and set out in the Statement of Strategy.
- Approve the Statement of Strategy and submit it to Tusla’s Education Welfare Service
The School Principal will
- Lead and guide the work on the Statement of Strategy.
- Compile absences for entry into the Tusla’s computerised returns.
- Promote the importance of good school attendance among pupils, parents and staff.
- Ensure that the school register of pupils is maintained in accordance with regulations.
- Manage the incentive system to reward good attendance.
- Make every effort to ensure that school identifies and supports students who may need additional support e.g. pupils in Le Chéile classes.
- Engage in early communication with parents and pupils on attendance, both informally and formally, e.g. by highlighting attendance patterns during Parent Teacher meetings.
- Inform parents in writing when their child has been absent for 15 days.
- Meet with parents to formally discuss concerns about pupil absences and to put in place strategies to improve pupil attendance, when a child has been absent for 15 days.
- Make every effort to implement support strategies for pupils with poor attendance in conjunction with class teachers, support staff and other agencies.
- Consult with the National Educational Psychological Service (N.E.P.S.) and relevant external personnel who have a particular expertise to support students with poor attendance, when appropriate.· Consult welfare organisations such as Barnardos, when appropriate.
- Comply with reporting procedures to TUSLA and liaise with the education welfare officer when necessary
- Inform parents of a decision to contact the Education Welfare Officer of concerns regarding a pupil’s attendance and/or when a pupil has missed 20 days.
- Inform the Board of Management at each meeting of the attendance statistics since the previous meeting.
- Provide a summary to the Board of Management of the quarterly returns and end of year return made to Tusla.
- Ensure that staff and the Parent Association are informed on attendance issues and initiatives.
The Deputy Principal will
- Work closely with the School Principal to co-ordinate and prepare the Statement of Strategy for School Attendance.
- Ensure that accurate and comprehensive attendance records are maintained.
- Monitors the Daily Attendance Book and termly and annual attendance statistics.
- Work closely with the Principal in monitoring attendance and in devising ongoing strategies to promote good attendance.
- Investigate and promote strategies to minimise the transmission of common illnesses within the school.
- Investigate and distribute guidance for parents and staff on school absences arising from common illnesses.·
Class Teachers will
- Advise, support and make recommendations during the preparation of the Statement of Strategy.
- Using Aladdin, maintain accurate class attendance records and record late arrivals and early departures.
- Keep a record of explained and unexplained absences.
- Contact parents in instances where absences are not explained in writing.
- Encourage pupils to attend regularly and punctually.
- Engage in early communication with parents and pupils on attendance, both informally and formally, eg. by highlighting attendance issues during Parent Teacher meetings.
- Inform the Principal of concerns they may have regarding the attendance of any pupil.
- Make every effort to implement support strategies for pupils with poor attendance in conjunction with the school principal, deputy principal and other support staff.
- Ensure regular and punctual school attendance.
- Make sure their children understand that parents support and approve of school attendance.
- Ensure, insofar as is possible, that children’s appointments (dentist etc.), are arranged for times outside of school hours
- Notify the school if their children cannot attend for any reason.
- Inform the school in writing of the reasons for absence from school.
- Show an interest in their children’s school day and their children’s homework.
- Encourage children to participate in school activities.
- Contact the school immediately if they have concerns about absence or other related school matters.
- Work with the school and Education Welfare service to resolve any attendance problems.
- Attend school regularly and punctually.
- Inform staff if there is a problem that may lead to their absence.
- Show absence notes from parents to their class teacher promptly.
- Pass school correspondence to their parents on the specified day.
Partnership arrangements (parents, students, other schools, youth and community groups)
This strategy was developed and ratified by the Board of Management of Lumcloon National School.The strategy was developed and compiled by the Principal and Staff. Pupils and parents/guardians were consulted in the process of devising the Strategy for Attendance.
How the Statement of Strategy will be monitored
- Attendance figures will be analysed at the end of each term/ annually and compared with attendance of previous school years
- The number of absences due to pupil illness will be reviewed.
- The average number of absences per pupil will be compared to previous years.
- The School Attendance Policy will be reviewed and updated.
Review process and date for review
The policy will be reviewed annually at the May meeting of the Board of Management alongside the school Attendance Policy.