Statement of Strategy
for Pupil Attendance.
Bishop Murphy Memorial School
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Rewarding of Pupils with Good Attendance
Strategies for Improving Attendance
Identification of Students who are at Risk of Developing School Attendance Problems
Establishment of Closer Contacts between the School and Home
Encouraging Full Participation of Students in the Life of the School
Identification of Aspects and Strategies:
This statement was prepared in consultation with the staff, parents, Board of Management and Educational Welfare Officer in order to highlight the strategies and measures in place in Bishop Murphy Memorial School to foster an appreciation of learning among pupils and encourage regular attendance at school. It was updated in 2016.
REWARDING OF STUDENTS WITH GOOD ATTENDANCE:
As an all-boys town school, targeting good attendance is part of our school action plan. Students with good attendance may 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 and almost full attendance at the end of each year and who have produced notes of absence for time missed.
- Organising attendance drives twice a year (last three weeks before Christmas and last three weeks before the summer holidays). All pupils with one week, two weeks and three weeks attendance will be included in a draw for a prize and a certificate.
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.
- Bishop Murphy Memorial School 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.
- Attendance rates of pupils will be monitored by the class teacher in the first instance and the class teacher will notify the NEWO (Mrs. Dillon) of any concerns regarding the attendance of any pupil.
- The school will use regular newsletters and web texts to promote attendance and punctuality.
- Where concerns arise, the class teacher or secretary monitoring attendance brings the concern to the attention of the principal and the NEWO.
- The principal and NEWO assess each case individually at this point and a home visit may be deemed necessary.
- The class teacher will encourage pupils to attend regularly and punctually.
- The class teacher will ensure that contact is made with parents/guardians in instances where absences are not explained. A standard note is used for this purpose.
- The class teacher will keep a daily record of attendance on Aladdin.
- Attendance figures are monitored daily by the secretary on Aladdin.
- The secretary will also bring details of continued absences and patterns of absences to the attention of the class teachers, the NEWO and the principal as necessary.
- The principal will promote the importance of good school attendance among pupils, parents and staff.
- Attendance will be featured as part of pre-Christmas and end of June school assemblies.
- The NEWO teacher will inform the NEWB:
- 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.
- Evidence of non-attendance is a factor in including pupils in the various activities; football, hurling, art, pottery, music, dance …etc.
- Extra-curricular activities, such as those listed will be timetabled for Mondays and Fridays (days traditionally associated with reduced attendance).
IDENTIFICATION OF STUDENTS WHO ARE AT RISK OF DEVELOPING SCHOOL ATTENDANCE PROBLEMS:
The following strategies may be employed to identify students at risk of developing school attendance problems:
- On transfer to Bishop Murphy Memorial School, attendance records will be sought from previous schools on pupil attendance.
- Class teachers will inform the NEWO and 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 NEWO teacher.
- The Parents Association.
- Attendance at meetings (Parent/Teacher, etc).
- Parent Courses.
- Attendance at Merit Awards.
- Attendance at Sports Day.
- Attendance at school events (eg. Concerts, Masses, etc).
- Regular newsletters to families.
- Open-door policy in principal’s office for daily communication.
- Availability of teachers on yard at assembly time every morning.
Contact with the following bodies will be fostered and developed in order to promote the good attendance of students in Bishop Murphy Memorial School:
- Other schools in the vicinity.
- Local GAA clubs, soccer clubs, etc.
- Community Gardaí
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.
This policy was ratified at a Board of Management meeting on 19th December 2016
The policy is due for review in 2019.