Regular attendance at school means that your child can make the most of their education, improving their chances in adult life.
School can also help your child’s social skills such as making and developing friendships. A regular and punctual attendance pattern will help your child when they move into the next stage of their education and ultimately enter the world of work.
The link between attendance and attainment in school is clear. The more a pupil is in the school the more they increase their opportunity to fulfil their potential.
The school, by law has to take a register of pupils first thing in the morning and at some point in the afternoon. The government advises that schools can keep the register open for up to 30 minutes and at St Joseph's we follow this advice.
If a pupil is late but the register is still open they are marked as late. If a pupil arrives late and the register is closed, without a satisfactory explanation, it may be classed as an unauthorised absence. This may lead to legal action for not ensuring regular and punctual school attendance.
As example, if a child arrives late at school 15 minutes late each day they lose almost 2 weeks of education a year!
The law states that parents do not have a right to take their child out of school for a holiday during term time. Only in exceptional circumstances may a head teacher grant permission for leave.
The school governing body sets out the requirements for permission to be granted for term time leave. Please contact school if you wish to know more about this.
Parents who choose to take their child out of school without written permission from the school may be issued with a fixed penalty fine.
What should I do if I'm worried about my child's school attendance? The first thing to do is contact the school to discuss your concerns. If we are unable to resolve the problem we may suggest you speak to an Education Social Welfare Officer.
What are my responsibilities regarding my child's school attendance? As a parent/carer it is your responsibility to ensure that any child of compulsory school age attends school both regularly and on time. The local Authority has a duty to make sure that all parents/carers fulfil this responsibility.
What will happen if my child does not attend school regularly? As a school we will contact you in the first instance to raise concerns about your child’s attendance. If we see no improvement or there are complex difficulties, a referral will be made to the Education Social Welfare Officer.
What if my child's school attendance does not improve? In extreme cases, if you continue to fail in your responsibility after referral is made to the ESWO you may be subject to a fixed penalty notice or other measure. Further information about such measure are available from the ESWO.
How will regular school attendance help my child? School gives your child a wide range of opportunities and experiences in the form of academic lessons, educational trips and and school clubs allowing them to develop their interests and achieve their full potential. Regular school attendance means that your child can make the most of their education.
What other support can be provided? The school can direct you to services that can: