RATIONALE:

  • This statement is required by the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and was prepared in consultation with Tusla’s Developing the Statement of Strategy for School Attendance: Guidelines for Schoolsin order to highlight the strategies and measures in place in Michael’s & St. Patrick’s N.S. to foster an appreciation of learning among pupils and encourage regular attendance at school.
  • In the school year 2015/2016 school attendance by our pupils was 94%. 8 students were absent for 20 or more days during the school year 2015/2016. 0 days were lost through suspension or expulsion.
  • In the school year 2016/2017 school attendance by our pupils was 94%. 12 students were absent for 20 or more days during the school year 2016/2017. 3 days were lost through suspension or expulsion.
  • In the school year 2017/2018 school attendance by our pupils was 93%. 20 students were absent for 20 or more days during the school year 2017/2018. 6 days were lost through suspension.
  • Currently in this school year school attendance by our pupils is 96%. 0 students were absent for 20 or more days during this school year. 0 days were lost through suspension or expulsion.
  • With this strategy, we hope to improve on these figures.

REWARDING OF STUDENTS WITH GOOD ATTENDANCE:

As a school, targeting good attendance is part of our school action plan.  Students with good attendance will be rewarded in the following ways:

  • Presenting certificates to pupils who have full attendance at the end of each term.
  • Presenting certificates to pupils who have full attendance at the end the full school year.

STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING ATTENDANCE:

The following strategies will be employed to improve attendance:

  • The school curriculum, insofar as is practicable, will be flexible and relevant to the needs of the individual child.
  • Michael’s & St. Patrick’s N.S. will promote a safe and healthy learning environment (see Child Protection Policy, Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy).
  • Michael’s & St. Patrick’s N.S. will promote development of good self-esteem and self worth in its pupils (see Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy).
  • Support for pupils who have special educational needs in accordance with DES guidelines.
  • The school calendar will be sent to parents/guardians in a timely manner and will be adhered to.
  • The school will promote attendance and punctuality in its regular newsletters to parents.
  • The importance of reporting absences will be emphasised through regular newsletters to parents and in end of year information sent to parents/guardians. School homework notebooks will contain absence forms for use by parents/guardians.
  • The class teacher will encourage pupils to attend regularly and punctually.
  • Teachers will set high expectations for punctuality and attendance in their classrooms
  • Teachers will set example by their own punctuality
  • Teachers will support student on return when they have missed periods of schooling.
  • The class teacher will ensure that contact is made with parents/guardians in instances where absences are not explained.
  • The class teacher will keep a daily record of attendance in the Leabhar Rolla using Aladdin software system.
  • Attendance rates of pupils will be monitored by the class teacher in the first instance and the class teacher will notify the Principal of any concerns regarding the attendance of any pupil.
  • The principal and class teacher assess each case individually at this point and a home visit may be deemed necessary.
  • Attendance figures are monitored weekly and monthly by the principal and secretary as per Department guidelines.
  • The Principal will ensure arrangements are in place for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the school’s Attendance Strategy.
  • The secretary will also bring details of continued absences and patterns of absences to the attention of the class teachers, and the Principal as necessary.
  • Absence notes and record of telephone messages regarding absence will be kept on record in the school and on Aladdin to ensure accuracy of types of absences.
  • The Principal will promote the importance of good school attendance among pupils, parents and staff.
  • Attendance will be featured as part of monthly school assemblies.
  • The Principal will inform the TUSLA:
    • When a pupil has been missing for twenty or more days during the course of the school year.
    • When a pupil has been suspended from school more than once under the Code of Behaviour.
  • Extra-curricular activities, such as gardening, Gaelic football, soccer etc. will be encouraged for all pupils, specifically those at risk of non-attendance.
  • Parents should ensure that their child regularly attends and arrives at school on time.
  • Parents should engage with the school if there is a problem about their child’s attendance and support plans to address the problem.
  • Parents should where possible avoid taking their child out of class unless there is a serious reason and avoid taking their child on holidays during term time where possible.

IDENTIFICATION OF STUDENTS WHO ARE AT RISK OF DEVELOPING SCHOOL ATTENDANCE PROBLEMS:

The following strategies will be employed to identify students at risk of developing school attendance problems:

  • On transfer to Michael’s & St. Patrick’s N.S., attendance records will be sought from previous schools on pupil attendance.
  • Class teachers will inform the Principal of any concerns s/he may have regarding the attendance of any pupil.
  • Contact with various agencies who are involved with such students.

ESTABLISHMENT OF CLOSER CONTACTS BETWEEN THE SCHOOL AND HOME:

Closer home/school relations will be fostered through:

  • The Principal
  • Active involvement with our Parents’ Association.
  • Attendance at meetings (Parent/Teacher, etc.).
  • Parent Courses.
  • Attendance at Sports Day.
  • Attendance at school events (e.g. Concerts, Masses, Sacraments, Matches etc.).
  • Regular newsletters to families.
  • A welcoming atmosphere by school staff to promote regular home/school communication.
  • Availability of teachers when possible before assembly time every morning.

FOSTERING CONTACTS:

Contact with the following bodies will be fostered and developed in order to promote the good attendance of students in St. Michael’s & St. Patrick’s N.S.:

  • Ardcarne Community Playgroup and After school services
  • Ardcarne Parish
  • St Michael’s GAA club, Ardcarne Basketball club, Ardcarne Community Games, etc.
  • Other schools in the vicinity
  • HSE
  • TUSLA
  • Boyle FRC
  • NEPS
  • Community Gardaí and JLO.
  • Roscommon County Council

ENCOURAGING FULL PARTICIPATION OF STUDENTS IN THE LIFE OF THE SCHOOL:

In so far as is practicable, programmes will be developed with the bodies mentioned above which will encourage the full participation with students in the life of the school.  Examples of these are:

  • Attendance incentive scheme.
  • Counselling (Rainbows, behavioural, bereavement, etc).
  • Gaelic Games and soccer.

IDENTIFICATION OF ASPECTS AND STRATEGIES:

The Board of Management, teachers and whole school community will be mindful at all times of:

  • The identification of aspects of the operation and management of the school and of the teaching of the school curriculum that may contribute to problems relating to school attendance on the part of certain students.
  • The identification of strategies for the removal of those aspects in so far as they are not necessary or expedient for the proper and effective running of the school having regard, in particular, to the educational needs of students.
  • The identification of strategies that will encourage more regular attendance at school on the part of such students.
  • The need to review this strategy into the future to accommodate the changing needs of the school and of its population.