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Attendance

Attendance Policy

 

The National Education Welfare Board (N.E.W.B.) now plays an important role in the implementation of this policy.

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  • Each child to whom the School Attendance Act applies (i.e. those between the ages of 6 and 15) is obliged by law to attend school every day, on which the school is in operation unless there is a reasonable explanation for not attending.  The school is obliged to notify the Education Welfare Board when a child is absent regularly or if a reasonable explanation has not been provided for the absence by the child’s parents/guardians.

 

  • In St.Colman’s if 3 school days elapse without formal notification by a parent/guardian for a reason why a pupil is absent, the school will investigate the matter.  Department of Education rules stated that after 15 consequetive days absent a pupil’s name must be removed from the school roll.  Parents will be notified when this is due to happen.

 

  • Under the Education Act 1999 which came into law in July 2002, it is the duty of the school to notify the Education Welfare Officer if:

 

  1. A student is suspended for a period in excess of 6 days
  2. The student is absent in excess of 20 days in a school year.
  3. A student’s name is removed from the register.
  4. A student who in the opinion of the Principal is not attending regularly, the matter will then be handled by the Education Welfare Officer.
  5. By law an annual report must be sent by the school Principal to the Education Welfare Officer in relation to all pupils who miss more than 20 days.

 

School’s Role in Encouraging Attendance

St.Colman’s N.S will at all times endeavour to encourage school attendance, by implementing the following strategies.

 

Relevant Curriculum

It is necessary that pupils undertake work relevant to their:

  • ability and individual needs
  • social situation
  • previous knowledge and development stage

 

Record Keeping

By ensuring that the class roll is kept up to date, the teacher/school’s Education Welfare Officer will have direct access to a major source of data on who is not attending regularly and why.  This will aid in the identification of “problem-cases”, which can then be investigated.

The secretary will keep a record online in accordance to the department. This will be updated weekly by the secretary.

 

External Communication

If there is effective communication between the classroom and the home, some “school-based” factors such as problems with homework, bullying etc. might be dealt with before they possibly result in non-attendance.  In a similar vein, if the teacher has a good understanding of the family and social background of the child he/she will be better equipped to adapt her teaching to take these hugely important issues into account.

 

Internal Communication

Regular communication with teachers of other classes may alert the teacher to the fact that there possibly is already an attendance problem means that they then are equipped with that knowledge, and may be in a position to help.

 

Rewarding Attendance

Instead of looking on attendance simply as a duty which pupils must fulfil, the teacher could put in place a classroom scheme which rewards pupils with the best attendance record ( if needed)

An attendance brochure will be sent home to parents encouraging student attendance (when needed)

 

 

Enrolment Policy

This policy was formulated by the Board of Management of this school in accordance with relevant guidelines and legislation regarding enrolment of pupils in Roman Catholic (R.C.) Primary schools.  This policy aims to clarify matters regarding enrolment for parents/guardians who wish to enrol their child in our school.

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1. St. Colman’s N.S. is a 5 teacher Roman Catholic Co-Educational  Primary School under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin. The school teaches the curriculum as laid down by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and is also funded by the DES.

 

2. The school follows and promotes a R.C. ethos which is clearly outlined in the school’s Ethos statement.  It should be clearly acknowledged and accepted by parents/guardians before enrolment.

 

3. Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children to our school.  No child is refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, language/accent, gender, traveller status, asylum-seeker/refugee status, religious/political beliefs and values, family or social circumstances.

 

4. Parents seeking to enrol their child(ren) are requested to return:

  • A completed application form,
  • An original birth/adoption certificate,
  • Other completed forms relating to school policies – as enclosed in enrolment package.

 

5. While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child in the school of choice, the Board of Management also has the responsibility of respecting the rights of existing school community in our Catchment area, and in particular the children already enrolled.  This requires balanced judgements, which are guided by the principles of natural justice and acting in the best interest of all children.  Assisting the school in such circumstances the BOM reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each classroom bearing in mind:

  • Size of available space in the classrooms,
  • Educational needs of children of a particular age,
  • Multi-grade classes,
  • Presence of children with special educational/behavioural  needs,
  • Department of Education & Science (DES) maximum class average directives.

 

6. In the event of the number of children seeking enrolment in any given class exceeding the number of places available due to the Board of Management being unable to provide suitable accommodation or to recruit the required teaching staff, the following criteria will be used to prioritise children for enrolment:

(a) Brothers/sisters, including step-siblings, resident at same address of children already enrolled.  Priority will be given to oldest.

(b) Children living within Parish/School agreed Catchment area.

(c) Children of current school staff – priority to oldest child.

In the event of being unable to enrol a child(ren) from categories (a), (b) or (c) in a given class at the beginning of the school year or mid-year, such children will receive priority – in order of (a), (b) (c) for the subsequent school year over other children on the class waiting list.

Parents/guardians have the right to appeal the decision of the Board under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998.

 

7. As stated it is general school policy only to enrol pupils from within our own agreed catchment area.  There may, however, be exceptional circumstances and pupils from outside our catchment area wishing to transfer from other schools may be enrolled subject to the rules governing National schools and local arrangements with other schools.  In such cases, parents should apply in writing to the Chairperson of the Board of Management stating the reason for the transfer.  The consent of the Principal of their existing school will be sought and the decision on enrolment will be taken by the Board having received reports and other relevant details from the school.

 

8. There is a Registration week each year – usually before Easter.  A child must be 4 years of age on or before the 31st of August in enrolment year in order to be enrolled.

Newly enrolled Junior Infants spend one informal period in the school in June to familiarise themselves with their new environment.  Other pupils, new to the catchment area are enrolled during the school year as the need arises.  Parents/guardians are expected to provide a report and other relevant documentation from the previous school.  

In exceptional cases applications to enrol for Junior Infants from outside our catchment area may be considered.  Parents should write to the Chairperson of the Board of Management stating the reasons for the application.  The Board reserves the right to contact the Principal in their local catchment area regarding the application.  The Board will make the decision on enrolment.

 

9. Children with Special Needs will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the Department of Education & Science to the Board of Management.  As a general principle enrolment of such children cannot be deferred or postponed until additional resources have been approved or allocated by the DES or Special Needs Educational Needs Organiser. Notwithstanding the availability of such resources, parents of children who are not satisfied with the level of educational provision in our school may be advised to consider a special school which is designed and resourced to specifically cater for the needs of children with special educational needs.

 

10. Children enrolled in our school are required to co-operate with and support the School’s Code of Discipline as well as all other policies on curriculum, organisation and management.

 

11. The Board places responsibility with parents/guardians for ensuring that their child(ren) co-operates with said policies in an appropriate way.  The Board reserves the right to suspend or expel a pupil if it is required.  The procedures to be followed are outlined in the Code of Discipline Policy document.