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Attendance Matters

‘Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today’ Malcolm X

Here in St. Ursula’s we believe that education is indeed the passport to your child’s future. Being in school regularly is probably the most important facet of this. As you know, a good education gives your child the best possible start in life. However it's important that children do not attend school if they are unwell. We fully understand that when children are unwell, they must stay at home.

Communications re Absences:

· If your child is absent, please message school the reason for the absence eg illness, urgent family reason etc. This should be done through the Aladdin app.

· When your child has been absent for 20 days you will receive a text to make you aware that the school is now legally obliged to inform TUSLA in relation to your child’s absences. (Even if all absences have been explained, you will still receive this message)

· You may be invited to speak with a member of the school attendance monitoring team to discuss the absences.

· If you have concerns around attendance, please get in contact with us and we can try to work through whatever difficulties you may be having.

Initiatives to Promote Attendance:

· The Annual Attendance Awareness Campaign happens each November, for these weeks there is an extra focus on attendance. School and class rewards given to encourage attendance at school.

· Participation in the TUSLA National Attendance Awareness Poster Competition.

· Attendance Certs given for children with 100% attendance at the end of each term (Christmas, Easter and Summer)

· Presentations and discussion in assembly on why school attendance is importance

· Use of slogans to emphasise the message eg Be on time for 10 to 9 or HERO (Here Everyday Ready On time)

Legislation re School Attendance

Parents: The legislation governing school attendance in Ireland is the Education (Welfare) Act 2000. Under the Act the minimum school leaving age is 16 years, or the completion of three years of post-primary education, whichever is the later. Parents are required to ensure that their children from the age of 6 to the age of 16 attend a recognised school or receive a certain minimum education. Under the Education Welfare Act 2000 parents must inform the school if their children will be absent from school on a school day and the reason for the absence, for example, illness. The Child and Family Agency strongly advises against taking children out of school to go on holiday during term-time.

Schools: Schools are obliged to keep a register of the students attending the school. They must also maintain attendance records for all students and inform the Child and Family Agency's educational welfare services if a child is absent for more than 20 days in a school year. The principal must also

inform the Child and Family Agency's educational welfare services if, in his/her view, a student has an attendance problem.

Click on the links below for additional tips and helpful information:

Advise for Parents on dealing with children who are reluctant to attend school

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