You are on page 1of 3

Kells and Connor Primary School

Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy
Kells and Connor Primary School recognises that punctual and regular school attendance is essential
to ensure uninterrupted progress and to enable children to achieve their full potential. We believe that
promoting good attendance develops positive attitudes towards school and learning. We also recognise
that lateness impacts on learning not only for the individual child, but the class as a whole. This school
aims to ensure that every child will want to attend school. This will be achieved by creating a warm,
welcoming and secure atmosphere where the children feel valued, and a stimulating and accessible
curriculum delivered in a clean, bright and attractive environment.
Principles of our Attendance Policy

We believe that children cannot learn if they are absent from school. Therefore, we aim to
ensure that all our children take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to
them and to raise standards by promoting regular attendance and punctuality of pupils.

We are committed to providing an education of the highest quality for all our pupils. We believe
high attainment depends on good attendance.

Sometimes a pupils absence or lateness may not be their fault and in these circumstances it is
our policy to be supportive of the child and not to make them feel guilty or inadequate. Also, at
times we have to give allowances for religious beliefs and individual family circumstances.

We believe it is essential to regularly remind parents of the importance of good attendance and its links
to pupil attainment.
Aims and Ethos
Poor attendance can seriously affect each childs:
1. Attainment and progress in school
2. Relationships with peers
3. Confidence to attempt new work and work alongside others
Non-attendance is an important issue that is treated seriously. However, each case is different and the
school acknowledges that no one standard response will be appropriate in every case. Consideration is
given to all factors affecting attendance before deciding what intervention strategies to apply. Schools
have a legal responsibility to report any pupil to the Education Welfare Service whose absence falls
below 85% or where there has been an absence of 10 days where it has proved impossible to make
contact with parents. It is hoped that parents, school staff and the Education Welfare Service can work
together to overcome any problems which may affect a childs attendance and achieve a resolution.
We summarise our pupils attendance as:
98%+ Very good Well done! This will help all aspects of your childs progress and life in school. This
will give them a good start in life and supports a positive work ethic. Pupils with 100% attendance will
be given recognition in the end of year Prize Giving Assembly.
94 97% Satisfactory Strive to build on this.
93 85% Needs Attention Absence is now affecting attainment and progress in school. Please work
with the school to improve the situation.
Below 85% Unacceptable Absence is causing serious concern. It is affecting attainment and progress
and disrupting your childs learning. We will work with you and the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) to
improve your childs attendance.

Kells and Connor Primary School

Attendance Policy

Management of Attendance
Responsibilities of Parents
Parents or carers with whom the child resides have a legal responsibility to ensure their children attend
school regularly and the Education and Library Boards work under two pieces of legislation:
1. The Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986 (amended by the Education (NI) Order 1996)
2. The Children (NI) Order 1995. Kells and Connor Primary School wishes to remind parents that
it is their statutory duty to ensure that children have an efficient education suited to their age,
aptitude and any special educational needs. (Education and Libraries Order 1986)
It is the responsibility of parents to:
1. Ensure their child attends school daily and on time
2. Keep the school fully informed on all matters that might affect attendance and their child in
school
3. Telephone school on the third day of any absence to inform school of the reason
4. Provide a note confirming the reason for absence on the childs return to school
5. If attendance becomes an issue work with the school to improve matters
6. Give serious consideration to whether it is appropriate or necessary to request term time
absence
Responsibilities of the Board of Governors and Principal:
The Board of Governors has the ultimate responsibility for school attendance and monitoring the
effectiveness of the schools attendance policy and practice. However, this is delegated, on a day to day
basis, to the Principal assisted by the senior teacher in charge of attendance. The Principal has the role
of determining resources and staffing to deal with attendance issues and ensuring statistical information
is provided as required by Government.
Responsibilities of Senior Management:
One member of the Senior Management Team, Mr McClelland, has the responsibility for overall
monitoring of attendance and coordinating attendance matters within the school. This role includes:
1. Collating and reporting attendance information
2. Working closely with parents and children to improve poor attendance speaking personally,
making telephone calls and sending letters to inform parents when a childs attendance is giving
cause for concern and is being closely monitored
3. Meeting with class teachers to discuss individual pupils with irregular attendance
4. Meeting with the Education Welfare Officers approximately every six weeks and making
referrals as necessary
5. Working with the EWO towards improved patterns of attendance for referred pupils identifying
the course of action that should be taken
6. Organising activities to raise the profile of school attendance and punctuality
7. Telephoning parents of pupils who are absent from school for several days without explanation
Responsibilities of the Class Teacher
Effective practice in relation to managing individual pupil attendance depends on the class teacher but,
on a daily basis, some aspects of this may be delegated to the classroom assistant. The following are
some of the roles of the class teacher:
1. Promoting school attendance through the curriculum
2. Monitoring attendance, e.g. marking register at the start of morning and afternoon sessions,
collecting absence notes, identifying pupils with irregular attendance patterns and bringing this
to the attention of Mr McClelland
3. Following up pupil absence if notes are not produced

Kells and Connor Primary School

Attendance Policy

4. Talking to parents about their childs pattern of attendance


5. Report percentage attendance to parents, e.g. parent interviews, annual report
6. Providing support to pupils after a long absence from school
Responsibilities of Office Staff
The office staff has an important role to play in monitoring attendance in school. The following are some
of the tasks they may undertake:
1. Operating the SIMS system and providing printouts for teachers and EWOs
2. Taking phone messages from parents about absences and passing the information on to class
teachers
3. Collating registration data
Attendance Procedures
Kells and Connor Primary School welcomes children from different religious faiths and children with
individual needs and consideration of these will be given with regards to attendance. Parents can apply
for special leave of absence for their children by consultation with the Principal. It is the responsibility of
the school to authorise absences. The school does not have to accept a parents offered explanation as
a valid reason for absence.
Registration
Pupils in after 9.00 a.m. will be recorded as late on the register.
Medical Appointments
Parents are asked, whenever possible, to make appointments outside school hours. If an appointment
has to be made during school hours a written explanation must be provided stating clearly the time of
the appointment. Pupils are expected to return to school following their appointment if possible. If there
are frequent absences for medical reasons, parents may be asked to provide medical evidence e.g. a
doctors certificate? If a pupil has a medical condition that may affect attendance and punctuality
parents are asked to discuss possible arrangements with the class teacher.
Holidays during Term Time
Kells and Connor Primary School strongly discourages holidays during term time due to the impact that
this has on childrens learning. Parents must contact the Principal prior to booking any holiday to
explain the need to remove a pupil from school during term time.
March 2015