St Peters NS Snugboro

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School Attendance Strategies

General Information > Child Protection

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St. Peter’s National School
School Attendance Strategy 2023/2024

Under the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 parents are responsible for ensuring that their child
receives an education. The law also says that every child between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend
school or otherwise receive an education. As per the school’s Enrolment and Admissions Policy
pupils enrolling St. Peter’s N.S. must have reached their fourth birthday on or before the 1
st of

September in the year that the child commences school.

Context of the School
St. Peter’s N.S. is located approx. one mile from Castlebar. It is a co-educational school
founded in 1890 and has a long tradition of providing an excellent educational service to the
people of Snugboro and its environs. The school has a Catholic ethos, yet, has pupils from
many other faith traditions or no faith traditions attending. Castlebar amenities such as the
Church of the Holy Rosary, the Linenhall Arts Centre, Mayo County Library and Lough
Lannagh are easily accessible by way of a short bus journey.
St. Peter’s N.S. has pupils with heritage connections to many nations and is very welcoming
of pupils from diverse cultural backgrounds. The school celebrates this cultural diversity in
keeping with its inclusive philosophy.

Key Principles of our Attendance Strategy
1. Teacher-pupil relations are crucial to pupils’ sense of belonging and attendance.
2. Teacher expectation – all staff project the belief that all pupils can succeed
academically with a view to influencing pupil engagement and attendance.
3. The curriculum offered seeks to ensure that it suits the needs of all pupils. It
encompasses pastoral education in keeping with the school’s ethos.
4. Registration and ongoing analysis of attendance data and historic statistics allow us
to track current attendance and review archived data to establish patterns, if any, of
non-attendance. We use the Aladdin pupil management software to assist us, not
only in recording attendance, but also the reasons for non-attendance and those
who arrive late for school (or leave early) as this may be an indication of the
beginning of an attendance problem. The Aladdin/student management system flags
10/15/20 days absence and informs parents.

5. Early engagement with parents by telephone on matters in relation to non-
attendance is vital. The Principal/Deputy Principal/Assistant Principal adopts this

approach where necessary.

6. The school operates sensitively in cases where the pupil has on-going health issues
impacting adversely on attendance.
7. We participate with outside agencies such as TÚSLA, the HSE Social Work
Department and N.E.P.S. on attendance issues in order to bring about a resolution to
matters of concern. We acknowledge that whole-school and community responses
are needed to tackle significant non-attendance.
1. Attendance is recorded on the Aladdin system by teachers each day at the agreed
time of 11.40 a.m.
2. Good, Very Good and Excellent attendance by pupils is acknowledged yearly on
school reports.
3. Each September the Principal and staff prioritise positive messages about the
importance of good attendance in classrooms and we continue this practice at our
assemblies. Letters regarding good practice in relation to attendance, Appendix 1:
Tusla-School Attendance-“What every parent needs to know” and Appendix 2 -
Education (Welfare) Act 2000, section 22 is circulated to every family with the school
calendar each year.
4. If attendance is unsatisfactory ie. reaching 20 days of absenteeism and there is no
medical or other acceptable reason for this significant level of absence and,
furthermore, if the Teacher / Principal have attempted to resolve the matters
without a satisfactory outcome, pre-referral and referral forms will be forwarded to
TUSLA. (Note: We engage at an early point with families to see if matters can be
resolved without reaching the twenty-day threshold i.e. if non-attendance is 15 days
or greater)

5. Pupils’ attendance figure for the past year and an associated comment will be
recorded on end-of-year reports received by parents.

6. We include positive messages and information concerning school attendance on our
school noticeboards and website e.g. “ Every Day Counts”

_______________________________ ____________________________
Chairperson Principal
Review Date: October 2024

Appendix 1 TUSLA - School Attendance – “What every parent needs to know...”
Here is what parents need to know about your child’s school attendance.
What should I do if my child cannot go to school?
You must tell the school that your child cannot attend and say why. Write a short note to the school
to explain why your child was out of school and send it in with your child when they go back to
school. Generally, there are good reasons why a child is missing school (e.g. illness).
Keep in regular contact with your child’s school to explain why your child is absent and, where
appropriate, provide medical certificates.
What will the school do if my child misses a lot of school?
The school must tell the statutory Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency if
your child has missed 20 days or more in the school year, or if it is concerned that your child is
missing too much school.
What we must do if your child misses a lot of school?
If a school tells us that your child is missing too much school, an Educational Welfare Officer (EWO)
will work with the school and may visit you to see how we can help to make sure that your child
attends school more often.
Can I take my child on holidays during term time?
Taking a holiday during term time means that children miss important school time. It will be difficult
for them to catch up on work later on. As a result, they may fall behind with school work and lose
confidence in their abilities. We strongly advise parents do not take their children out of school for
holidays during term time.
Can I be taken to court if my child doesn’t attend school?
If you are a parent or guardian of a child aged between 6 and 16 you have a central role to play in
ensuring that your child does not miss out on his or her education. Under Irish law you must ensure
that your child attends school or otherwise receives an education.
We will help parents in whatever way we can to ensure your child gets an education. However,
parents who refuse to co-operate with the EWO regarding their child’s school attendance (or fail to
register with the Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency if they are being home
educated or in receipt of an education in a ‘non-recognised school) can be taken to court and fined
or imprisoned. Legal action of this kind only takes place in exceptional circumstances and forms a
very small part of the Board’s work.
At what age can my child leave school?
The minimum school leaving age is 16 or after three years of post-primary education, whichever is
My child is refusing to go to school. Where can I get help?
Sometimes young people refuse to attend school despite the best wishes of their parents. There are
often underlying reasons behind the young person’s decision not to attend school and parents often

feel powerless to help their child. If your child is refusing to attend school and you need support,
contact us and our Educational Welfare Officer will get in touch with you.
If a school has refused to enrol my child – what can I do?
If a school refuses to enrol a child, for whatever reason, you have the right to appeal the decision to
the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills under Section 29 of the Education
Act 1998. You can do this by filling in an Appeals Form, which you can get from the school or from
the Department of Education and Skill’s website
My child has been suspended or expelled from school. What can I do?
If a school decides to suspend or expel your child and if you are not happy with the school’s decision,
you can appeal it to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills under Section
29 of the Education Act 1998. You can do this by filling in an Appeals Form, which you can get from
the school or from the Department of Education and Skill’s website
Other decisions taken by the school about your child:
Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 allows parents to appeal certain decisions made by a school's
Board of Management. Appeals may be made about a decision to:
1. refuse to enrol a pupil
2. suspend a pupil from the school for more than a certain number of school days in any one
school year
3. permanently exclude (expel) a pupil
You can get more information about appealing decisions on enrolment in Primary Circular 22/02
Appeals Procedures under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 and in the Appeal Procedures
document. See the parents’ section of the Department of Education and Skills’ site for further information. You can also contact TUSLA and an Educational Welfare
Officer will offer you support and assistance. Your appeal is heard by an appeals committee set up
by the Department of Education and Skills. In most cases, appeals are dealt with within 30 days. The
Department may give directions to the Board of Management of the school to resolve the matter.
The appeals committee will issue a decision in all cases heard.

Appendix 2- Education (Welfare) Act 2000, Section 22
22. (1) The board of management of a recognised school shall, after consultation with the
principal of, teachers teaching at, parents of pupils registered at, and the educational
welfare officer assigned functions in relation to, that school, prepare and submit to the
Board a statement of the strategies and measures it proposes to adopt for the purposes
of fostering an appreciation of learning among pupils attending that school and encouraging
regular attendance at school on the part of such pupils (hereafter in this section referred to
as a “statement of strategy”).
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a statement of strategy shall
provide for –
(a) the rewarding of pupils who have good school attendance records;
(b) the identification at an early stage of pupils who are at risk of developing school
attendance problems;
(c) the establishment of closer contacts between the school concerned and the families of
pupils to which
paragraph (b) applies;
(d) the fostering, promoting and establishing of contacts by the school with –
(i) other schools that provide primary or post-primary education,
(ii) bodies engaged in the provision of youth work programmes or services related thereto,
or engaged in the organising of sporting or cultural activities, and
(iii) such other bodies within the area in which the school concerned is situated as the board
of management considers appropriate;
(e) in so far as is practicable, the development, following consultation with the bodies
referred to in paragraph (d), of programmes of activities designed to encourage the full
participation of pupils in the life of the school;
(f) in so far as is practicable, the coordination with other schools of programmes aimed at
promoting good behaviour among pupils and encouraging regular attendance at school by
pupils, and the exchanging of information relating to matters of behaviour and school
attendance with such schools;
(g) the identification of –
(i) 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 pupils, and
(ii) strategies –
(I) for the removal of those aspects as 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 pupils, and
(II) that will encourage more regular attendance at school on the part of such pupils.
(3) The board of management of a recognised school shall, in preparing a statement of
strategy, have regard to such guidelines issued by the Board regarding the preparation and
carrying into effect of statements of strategy.
(4) A statement of strategy prepared and submitted by the board of management of a
recognised school, in accordance with subsection (1), shall be carried out by that board of
management in accordance with its terms.

(5) The board of management of a recognised school may, with the consent of the Minister,
and for the purpose of giving effect to a statement of strategy prepared and submitted by it
in accordance with this section, appoint such and so many teachers
employed by it, as it considers appropriate, to liaise with the parents of pupils registered at
the school concerned and to give such assistance to the families of those pupils as the board
of management concerned considers appropriate.
(6) Two or more boards of management of recognised schools may, if they consider it
appropriate, coordinate, and cooperate in, the carrying out of statements of strategies
prepared and submitted by them in accordance with subsection (1).
(7) The Board shall issue guidelines to boards of management of recognised schools for the
purposes of this section.
(8) The statement of strategy prepared by the board of management of a recognised school
shall be included in the plan prepared by it under section 21 of the Act of 1998.
Resources / Personnel
1. “Don’t Let Your Child Miss Out” Leaflet (TUSLA)
2. Code of Behaviour & Anti-Bullying Policy of St. Patrick’s
3. Contact details below for TUSLA West / North West section:

Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Galway, Roscommon,Longford,

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