School Attendance Policy

We work closely with parents to ensure that our pupils attend regularly and on time.

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  • To work closely with parents to ensure that our pupils attend regularly and on time, thus enabling children to fully avail of the educational opportunities available to them.
  • To encourage pupils to attend school regularly and punctually.
  • To share the promotion of school attendance amongst all in the school community.
  • To identify pupils who may be at risk of developing school attendance problems.
  • To ensure that the school has procedures in place to promote attendance/participation.
  • To develop, subject to available resources, links between the school and the families of children who may be at risk of developing attendance problems.
  • To identify and remove, insofar as is practicable, obstacles to school attendance.

Role of the School:

  • The importance of school attendance is promoted throughout the school.
  • Pupils are registered accurately and efficiently.
  • Individual pupil attendance is recorded daily by the class teacher, on the digital roll book (Leabhar Rolla) on “Aladdin”.
  • Class attendance is recorded daily by the secretary, on the digital attendance book (Leabhar Tinrimh) also on “Aladdin”.
  • The annual attendance of each individual pupil is recorded by the principal in the Register (Clár Leabhar), together with information provided in enrolment forms.
  • If a child is not present by 10.00 am, and the school hasn’t received notification from the parent/guardian that the child is only away temporarily at an appointment and will definitely be attending school that day, then the child is marked absent.
  • Children are not encouraged to leave the school before the official closing time. Children are only permitted to leave if they are collected by parents/guardians, or for older children if there is a written request from parent/guardian. If a parent/guardian is taking a child from school during school hours he/she must call to the office and sign the child out.

Role of the Parents/Guardians:

  • Parents have an obligation to send their children to a recognised school and engage in full time education.
  • Parents are encouraged to communicate any concerns that they may have regarding their child’s education and welfare.
  • Parents are expected to have their children in school every day and on time.
  • Parents are expected to explain a child’s absence, in writing, on the child’s return.
  • If an absence is known beforehand (e.g. dental or eye appointment), the school should be notified of the intended absence. If possible, children should be in school before and after appointments. Where possible, appointments for children should be made outside of school times.
  • Parents should not take family holidays during school time.


The bell rings at 8.45am and school begins at 8.50am. All pupils, teachers and SNAs are expected to be on time. The school will contact parents/guardians in the event of pupils being consistently late. The principal is obliged, under the Education Welfare Act, to report children who are persistently late to the National Education Welfare Board (NEWB).

Reporting Attendance

The NEWB is furnished with the total attendances in the school year through the Annual Report Form, which is completed on-line. Parents/guardians are made aware of the requirements of the NEWB, particularly the by-law relating to absences of more than 20 days per school year. They are notified, in writing, on the end of year report of the total number of absences during the school year. Parents of pupils whose non-attendance is a concern are invited to meet with the principal during Parent/Teacher meetings and are informed of the school’s concerns. The school must inform the Education Welfare Officer in writing, where a child has missed 20 or more days in a school year, where attendance is irregular, where a pupil is removed from the school register, and where a child is suspended or expelled for 6 days or more.

Parents/guardians promote good school attendance by:

  • Making sure their children understand that parents support good school attendance.
  • Ensuring regular and punctual school attendance.
  • Notifying the school, in writing, if their children cannot attend for any reason.
  • Working with the school to resolve any attendance problems.
  • Discussing planned absences with the school.
  • Refraining, if at all possible, from taking holidays during school time.
  • Showing an interest in their children’s school day and their children’s homework.
  • Encouraging them to participate in school activities.
  • Praising and encouraging their children’s achievements.
  • Instilling in their children a positive self-concept and a positive sense of self-worth.
  • Ensuring, insofar as is possible, that children’s appointments (with dentists etc.), are arranged for times outside of school hours. If this is not possible they should remove the child from school for as little time as possible before and after the appointment.
  • Contacting the school immediately, if they have concerns about absence or other related school matters.
  • Notifying the school in writing if their child/children, particularly children in junior classes, are to be collected by someone not known to the teacher.

There is a positive attitude within the school to good attendance and we aim to create an environment that encourages children to attend school and to participate fully in the life of the school.

The school promotes good school 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.
  • Promoting the development of good self-concept and self-worth in the children.
  • Ensuring the school curriculum, insofar as is practicable, is flexible and relevant to the needs of the individual child.
  • Supporting pupils who have special educational needs, in accordance with Department guidelines.

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 child. Pupils with a poor attendance record will, insofar as is practicable, be supported in an effort to improve their attendance.

  • The importance of attendance will be reiterated in newsletters, placing focus on encouraging full attendance by all pupils.
  • Each class teacher will attempt to promote good attendance in his/her own class by encouraging and rewarding individual children whose attendance improves particularly for a period of time.
  • Terms 1 and 2: (end of each) Any child with full attendance shall be congratulated at a school assembly and shall have their photograph taken to be displayed for parents/teachers/pupils in a communal area, thus encouraging full attendance amongst the rest of the school. A group photo will also be taken for the school website.
  • Term 3: At the end of the school year, the same shall be done with the photographs being displayed during Term 1 of the following year. Also, children with full attendance from the school year ending will be presented with an official certificate at a school assembly.

Early Intervention:

  • New parents/guardians are invited to an “Open Day” before their child starts school, where they are informed of procedures in relation to attendance and the importance of attendance. There is a focus on the value of regular attendance and on the importance of developing good attendance habits from Junior Infants onwards.
  • The calendar for the coming school year is published annually in June, and a reminder is published in September. It is hoped that this approach will enable parents/guardians to plan family events around school closures, thus minimising the chances of non-attendance related to family holidays during the school term.
  • Children who have been reported to NEWB in the previous academic year shall be highlighted for the new class teacher to be monitored.
  • As soon as any child reaches 10 days non-attendance the parents will be reminded of the importance of good attendance by the class teacher. The class teacher will also notify the principal.
  • Continued poor attendance will be monitored and in a situation where attendance does not improve and reaches 15 days, the parents will be invited to a meeting with the principal to discuss strategies and identify problems responsible for the poor attendance.
  • Late Arrivals: Pupils should not be made feel uncomfortable if they arrive late. An appointment is arranged with parents/guardians when it becomes an ongoing problem.

Transfer to Another School

Under Section 20 of the Education (Welfare) Act (2000), the principal of a child’s current school must notify the principal of the child’s previous school that the child is now registered in their school.

When a principal receives notification that a child has been registered elsewhere he/she must notify the principal of the pupil’s new school of any problems in relation to attendance at the pupil’s former school, and of such matters relating to the child’s educational progress as he or she considers appropriate. This applies to pupils who transfer between primary schools and to pupils who transfer from primary to second-level education.

Education Welfare Act (2000)

The Education (Welfare) Act 2000 provides a framework under which attendance at school can be dealt with by law. As a result of the Act, the Child and Family Agency (Túsla) has been established and has appointed Education Welfare Officers.

Under the regulations of the Act, the school is obliged to:

  • Keep a record of pupils’ attendance, (this is done in the class roll books).
  • Submit to the Child and Family Agency (Túsla) the names of all pupils who miss 20 or more days from school.
  • Keep a written record of pupils’ absences.

Under the Act, parents are required to:

  • Send their children to school each day.
  • Notify the principal, in writing, of the reason for a child’s absence.

The school keeps a record of all such absences, using the codes as set down by Túsla. To facilitate both parents and teachers in the maintenance of such records, the school journal has a set of notes that can be detached and returned to the child’s teacher after a day/days missed.


The success of any Attendance Policy is measured through:

  • Improved attendance levels as measured through Leabhar Rolla records and statistical returns
  • Happy confident well-adjusted children
  • Positive parental feedback
  • Teacher vigilance.

Ratification, communication and review

Following consultation with all of the school partners, this policy was ratified at a Board of Management meeting on 31st May 2022. It will be communicated to staff by email, and also saved on the staff server. It will be available to parents and the school community both in the school and on the school website. It will be reviewed every two years, or sooner if requested by any member of the school community.

Signed by Patrick Logue (Chairperson BOM)

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