Attendance & Participation

 

Statement of Strategy for School Attendance

Selskar College, Westgate, Wexford  71680C

Ratified by Board of Management 22nd June 2017

 

 

The school’s vision and values in relation to attendance

Selskar College maintains a caring and pastoral ethos with regard to students and strives to ensure that the college is a positive experience for all students.

 

Selskar College affirms that parents have the primary responsibility for ensuring that children of compulsory school-going age attend school regularly once they are enrolled at school.

 

Selskar College affirms that parents have a statutory obligation to notify the school principal or his/her nominee, in the form of a written explanation or a doctor’s cert, explaining the reason for each absence.

 

The school’s high expectations around attendance

Selskar College expects that students are present for all lessons on every school day and that a student is absent only when absolutely necessary.

 

Selskar College seeks to comply with the Education Welfare Act 2000 and all other relevant statutory legislation and undertakes to:

·         co-operate with the Educational Welfare Board and with the Educational Welfare Officer and shall seek to establish good and positive relationships with them.

·         maintain accurate records of school attendance by student

·         form habits of regular and punctual attendance in students

·         discourage absenteeism, lateness and unwarranted withdrawal of students during the school day or school term

·         develop a sense of personal responsibility in students

·         make students aware that a good school attendance record enhances employment opportunities

 

How attendance will be monitored

A register of all students who have been admitted to the school is maintained by the Principal of Selskar College.

 

Selskar College affirms that a record is maintained of attendance and non-attendance on each school day or part thereof of each student registered at the school, which specifies the fact of attendance or failure to attend and the reasons for such failure.  Attendance is marked by the subject teacher for every lesson on the local MIS.  Parents/Guardians have online access to this attendance record.

 

Selskar College affirms that the Principal may at his/her discretion, delegate duties regarding school attendance to other professionals working in the school.

 

Selskar College, shall in as far as is possible co-operate with Tusla and with the Educational Welfare Officer and shall seek to establish good and positive relationships with them.

Teachers are required to take a roll call for every lesson daily.  Parents have access to the online system to monitor their child’s attendance.

 

Summary of the main elements of the school’s approach to attendance

As per The Education (Welfare) act 2000 Section 22(1) and 22(2) Selskar College has drawn up a Statement of strategy with regard to attendance/participation, subject to the functions of the Minister pursuant to section 7 (1) of the Education Act 1998 and WWETB.

 

Selskar College uses the following strategy to promote good attendance/participation.  The DEIS plan lists detailed actions planned to promote good attendance.

 

Target setting and targets

Attendance data is gathered and analysed on an annual basis and comparisons done with previous years.  The data gathered includes the following:

·         Absent rate (% of student days lost to absence)

·         Chronic absent rate (% students absent for more than 20 days)

·         Expulsion rates

·         Suspension rates

 

From this data targets are set for the following year with a desire to reduce each rate year on year.  Specific targets are included in the DEIS plan and the relevant section of Wexford Town SCP Retention Plan.

 

The whole-school approach

The development of whole school structures is a positive and pro-active attempt to deal with the issues of attendance and non-attendance, supported by the Pastoral Care programme in the school and includes

  • Discussion of attendance and school procedures for attendance with every parent/guardian on enrolment.
  • Provision of variety of educational programmes to meet the varied needs of students.
  • First Year Induction Programme Le Chéile.
  • Meitheal Programme – mentoring of 1st Year students by trained 6th Year Meitheal Leaders
  • Daily record of school attendance and recording of reasons for any absence by Class Tutors.
  • Inclusion of attendance statistics on school reports
  • Login details for online system provided to parents/guardians who can check child’s attendance in real time
  • Early identification of “at risk” students, beginning with liasing with primary schools, with annual review by the Attendance team in collaboration with Wexford Town SCP and the EWO.
  • Establishment  and commitment to a care team consisting of the Deputy Principal, Guidance Counsellor, HSCL Coordinator, Behaviour for Learning Programme Teacher and subject teachers for the purpose of identifying and supporting at risk students.

·         Establishment of and commitment to an Attendance Team conisisting of the Principal, HSCL Coordinator, School SCP Coordinator, Wexford Town SCP Coordinator and Project Worker.

·         Establishment of and commitment to a Positive Behaiour Strategy Team for the purpose of developing strategies that promote positive behaviour.

·         Provision of courses for parents through HSCL, with parents of at risk students idenfied for courses.

  • The fostering of school and community awareness of the factors affecting school attendance.

·         The JCSP and LCA Programme emphasises the importance of regular attendace of students through profiling, initiatives, cross-curricular work and recognition of  student achievement.

·         JSCP library not only promotes the development of the students skills in literacy and numeracy.  Emphasis is place on encouraging good attendance and the development of students’ confidence and self esteem.

·         Year Heads meet weekly and attendance of students is a standing item on the agenda.

·         Text messages sent to parents/guardians regarding unexplained absence every morning and afternoon

·         School Meals provision (breakfast club & lunch club) in collaboration with Wexford Town SCP and the Department of Social Protection.

·         Commitment to developing the use of Restorative Practice.

 

Promoting good attendance

  • The rewarding of students regarding good and improved attendance/participation on a regular basis and as part of the annual awards.
  • Making explicit links between attendance and progression in school.

 

Responding to poor attendance

  • Establishing the reasons for poor attendance & development of tailored strategies to the student or groups of students.
  • Referral to Care Team/Attendance Team/Behaviour for Learning Programme/SCP/Tusla
  • Statutory reporting to TUSLA
  • Communication with parents – provision of advice and support, from Year Heads/HSCL/Deputy Principal/Principal Wexford Town SCP
  • Incentives/Reward/Reprimand/Loss of privileges, as appropriate, including advice on how to improve.
  • Provison of supports to enable attendance – HSCL, NBSS, Guidance Counselling, External Counselling, SCP support.
  • Detention during breaks or outside of school hours.
  • Any other strategy that may be of relevance to the needs or circumstances of the school.
  • Establishment of close links with the homes of at risk students, primarily by HSCL Coordinator
  • Cooperation with ‘Meitheal’ of professional supports such as Social Work, CAMHS, JLO, EWO etc.
  • Fostering, promoting and establishing contacts by the school with other schools and bodies engaged in youth work.
  • In conjunction with Wexford Town SCP & EWO - Top Ten most absent: Attendance tracker makes phone calls to parents of top ten most absent on the morning of first absence and keeps record of date called and number of days missed.  Regular contact and meetings take place with EWO to discuss those students progress.

 

Roles & Responsibilities in relation to attendance

 

Board of Management

·         The Board of Management of Selskar College shall ensure that the statutory obligations of the college with regard to college attendance and participation are adhered to.

·         Selskar College shall submit a report on attendance levels in the College to the Educational Welfare Officer,  as required.

·         Selskar College shall ensure that all information is collected and issued in accordance with the Data Protection act (1988).

·         Selskar  College shall ensure that an evaluation of the effectiveness of the process, strategy and policy regarding attendance is carried out regularly.

 

Principal

·         A register of all students who have been admitted to the school will be maintained by the Principal of Selskar College.

·         Selskar College affirms that the Principal must maintain a record of attendance and non-attendance on each school day or part thereof of each student registered at the school, which specifies the fact of attendance or failure to attend and the reasons for such failure.

·         Selskar College affirms that a student, who has not reached the age of 16 years and who has not completed three years of post primary education, cannot be removed from the register, except:

  • For inter-school transfer and then only after all details regarding attendance and educational progress have been issued to the new school.
  • Where for whatever reason a student is removed from the school under the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 Section 20(4)

·         Selskar College affirms that the Principal shall, after admitting a student from another second level school request the Principal of said school to release the student on PPOD for transfer.

·         Report to the Board of Management on student attendance.

·         Selskar College affirms that the Principal must notify the Tusla as follows:

o   Where a student is suspended for a period of six or more consecutive days or suspension for a total of twenty days or more.

o   Where the aggregate number of school days on which a student is absent (for whatever reason) during a school year of 20 days or more.

o   Where, for whatever reason, a student’s name is removed from the register in accordance with the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 Section 20(4) and under Section 3.2 above.

o   Where in the opinion of the Principal, a student is not attending school regularly and the reasons for such non-attendance.  In addition, such information should be available to the Board of Management, as appropriate.

The principal has a responsibility to ensure that any duties delegated to college staff are carried out effectively.
 

Deputy Principal

·         encourage regular attendance by students through the use of attendance leagues, phonecalls, letters home, etc.

·         receive reports from Year Heads on issues relating to attendance

·         monitor and investigate unauthorised absences of students from the school or from classes

·         contact parents/guardians where unauthorised absences are suspected with ‘spot check’ phonecalls.

·         Liaise with relevant staff regarding student attendance issues

·         The Deputy Principal assumes the role of the Principal in the absence of the Principal

 

Year Heads

·         Monitor attendance in Year Group regularly and make students aware of importance of regular attendance.

·         note trends in absence records of individual students e.g. Monday or Friday absences and to bring this to the attention of the parents/guardians of the students concerned

·         liaise with Class Tutors and the HSCL person on matters relating to attendance records of students.

·         Respond when students leave school without permission including contacting parents

·         Arranging meetings with parents/guardians

·         When necessary make referrals to Student Support Team

·         contact parents/guardians where unauthorised absences occur or are suspected

·         impose sanctions where appropriate

 

HSCL Coordinator

·         Take referrals from any member of staff who expresses concern regarding student attendance.

·         Establish contact with Parents/Guardians.

·         Try to establish reasons for student absences.

·         Nurture confidence and trust in Parents/Guardians.

·         Encourage Parents/Guardians to adopt a positive attitude to school attendance.

·         Establish contact and trust with students.

·         Work with students to counteract any ‘gaps’ in education which may lead to further absences.

·         Work with Care Team and School Completion Programme to set in place appropriate supports to keep students at school.

·         Maintain contact with Parents/Guardians.

·         Monitor progress of certain students and keep Principal informed.

·         Liaise with Year Heads on attendance issues.

 

Attendance Team

·         To identify at risk and high priority students

·         Meet weekly to discuss attendance, review target lists and implement appropriate supports

·         Notify home when 10 and 15 absences have been reached.

 

Care Team

·         Take referrals from members of staff regarding concerns for any students. Discuss appropriate supports to be put in place for student and refer to other student supports as appropriate.

·         Monitor students referred on an on-going basis.

 

Class Tutors

·         Ensure that students are aware of the importance of good attendance and the procedures involved in recording partial and full day absences.

·         Class Tutors are responsible for recording reasons for any student absence on the attendance tracking system

·         Encourage tutor group with regard to their attendance

·         Praise and reward good and improved attendance

·         Refer any concerns about attendance to the relevant supports

·         conduct a daily roll call during class time

·         keep a record of matters relating to attendance/absences of students e.g. failure to provide absence note from parents/guardians.

·         liaise with Year Heads on matters relating to attendance records of students.

 

Subject Teachers

·         Responsible for student registration for every class throughout the day using the VSware system.

·         Bring any concerns regarding student attendance to relevant staff.

·         notify the Principal / Deputy Principal in the event a student is missing from the class

·         provide a classroom climate and classroom management that support participation and engagement, especially with students who may be at risk of poor attendance

·         agree punctuality and attendance standards with students as part of classroom rules

·         support the attendance plan for students who have difficulty attending school on a regular basis

·         support students on return when they have missed periods of schooling

·         discuss students’ attendance records with parents/guardians at Parent/Teacher Meetings

·         impress on students the importance of regular attendanceand ensure they understand their responsibility to find to ‘catch up’ on work missed during their absence

 

Parents

·         Parents have the primary responsibility for ensuring that children of compulsory school-going age attend school regularly once they are enrolled at school.

·         parents have a statutory obligation to notify the school principal or his/her nominee, in the form of a written explanation or a doctor’s cert, explaining the reason for each absence by completing the section at the back of the Student Journal

·         Parents should ensure that their child is punctual

·         Parents/Guardians should:

§  ensure regular attendance of students and avoid unwarranted absences

§  notify the College in writing of the reason for all student absences: such notice should be provided prior to the absence if possible or otherwise immediately afterwards. Telephone or oral messages relating to student absences must be confirmed in writing as soon as possible. (The school reserves the right not to permit students returning from an absence to attend class until a written explanation is furnished as described above).

§  provide to the College reliable contact telephone numbers and alternative ‘emergency’ numbers so that the College may contact parents/guardians or other authorised parties if necessary

§  adhere to the procedures set out in this Policy for the withdrawal of students from school during the school day

§  acknowledge and, where necessary reply to communications from the College in relation to attendance issues

Students

·         Each student has a personal responsibility to attend school and be punctual each day and for every lesson.

·         Each student must keep their journal neat and present it as requested

·         To ensure that an absence note is completed in the Student Journal and to present this note to the Class Tutor and any school personnel who wish to see the note.

·         To ensure that should they sign in late they get a Late Stamp in the Student Journal and inform the Class Tutor.

·         To ensure that if they are signing out during the school day that they remain in class until called to Reception where they are signed out, and journal stamped and collected by their Parent / Guardian.

·         To not leave school premises without permission.

·         Tofind out details of work missed and catch up. This applies to students are absent for a day(s) or who miss class due to sporting or other extra-curricular activities.

 

Administration Office

·         record late notices in the Student Journal

·         maintain a record of students withdrawn from school during the school day and their return to the school

·         ensure that when a student is withdrawn from the school, a parent/guardian personally accompanies the student who is leaving the school and signs the appropriate record before the student is withdrawn. In the event of an emergency the secretary will contact the home and confirm who is to sign the child out with the parent.

 

Partnership arrangements

Selskar College has developed links with



·         Wexford Town SCP

·         Wexford Local Development

·         Wexford Local Enterprise Office

·         Wexford County Council

·         Junior Achievement Ireland

·         St Joseph’s Community Centre, Wexford

·         North End Soccer Club

·         Comhairle na nÓg

·         Safe Project

·         Wexford Library

·         Wexford Rotary Club

·         Sports Active Wexford

·         Local Employers

·         Business in the Community

·         Carlow IT Wexford Campus-Social Care (Work Experience placments with Wexford Town SCP)

·         Carlow IT Wexford Campus-Art (Art in the Community projects)

·         FDYS in collaboration with Wexford Town SCP



 

 

 

How the Statement of Strategy will be monitored

Strategy will be monitored on an annual basis and reviewed at the end of each academic year

 

Date for review

May 2018