We share our attendance figures with An Tusla twice a year. If your child misses more that 20 days we are obligated to report this. 20 days missed is nearly a month of school. It is important that we know the reason for any absences so we can include this in any report we make.
Our best month this year for attendance was October when a staggering 97.8% of our pupils were in school.This was also the best month over the last five years.
Overall atendance this year is slightly down, possibly due to the volume of tummy bugs and the flu outbreak of this past winter. We are currently running at 96.2% attendance but the record to beat is 96.4% from last year.
We have had a confirmed case in Junior Infants. This syndrome is a mild but very contagious illness and usually presents in 5/6 year olds , It is however a more concerning for people with low immune systems or pregnant women. Please read the letter here.
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There are three key reasons to keep a child home from school
Fever over 100.4 degrees F or 38° C
The child may have a contagious illness or rash.
The child is not well enough to participate in class.
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• The average child has 6 to 12 illnesses per year, so sickness is a part of normal childhood. It can be difficult to balance the child’s school attendance with the risk of spreading the illness to others in school.
• Fever is a symptom which usually indicates that the body is fighting an infection. A child with fever over 100.4 degrees F (38°C) needs to stay home until the fever is gone for 24 hours.
• Rashes that are itchy or scaly may be contagious and need to be checked by the nurse or doctor. If a child with a rash is ill looking, is having trouble swallowing or breathing, they need to be seen by the doctor.
• A cough need not keep a child from school unless it is interfering with sleep or ability to take part in activities. Coughs and runny noses can persist for up to two weeks after a cold.
• Children can attend school with a mild sore throat unless they have other symptoms as well, such as fever, vomiting or abdominal pain.
• Children with a vomiting illness (repeated vomiting) need to stay home until the vomiting stops and they are eating normally.
• Children with diarrhoea also need to stay home until stools have been normal for at least 24 hours. Frequent hand washing with soap and water is the most important and effective way of preventing the spread of contagious diseases.
While there is a strong tradition of good attendance in our school, changing social habits and patterns require us to monitor attendance and to put strategies in place to counter act poor or irregular attendance.
Aims and Objectives:
Our aim is to ensure and maintain a high level of attendance at school by all pupils.
Encouraging full attendance where possible
Identifying pupils at risk
Promoting a positive learning environment
Raising awareness of the importance of school attendance
Fostering an appreciation of learning
Compliance with School Ethos:
In Saint Brigid’s National School we want every pupil to actively participate in all school activities. Regular attendance helps to create a stable learning environment for all pupils, and the school hopes to promote co-operation among pupils, parents/guardians and staff in maintaining a high level of regular attendance and punctuality throughout the school year.
Individual attendance is recorded daily on the school administration system and reasons for absences are noted
Non attenders must provide either a note from parent with reason for absence or fill in an online form which is available on the connect app. The school keeps a record of all absences, using the following codes as set down by the NEWB
Parents can also edit the reasons for a child’s absence through the connect app.
B Urgent Family Reasons (eg:Bereavement)
E Other (eg: Religious Observance, Emigration)
G Transfer to another school (written confirmation received from other school)
Attendance is monitored by the Deputy Principal and if child is absent for long periods without explanation, parents are contacted by Principal/Deputy
Parents are discouraged from taking children out of school for holidays during school time. The school calendar is published at the beginning of the school year and it is hope parents can use this to plan holidays.
Parents who intend taking their children away on holidays during term should indicate this to the teacher in writing.
Parents will receive a text message from the school when 15 days absence has been recorded and thereafter provide them with updates on their child’s attendance as it is a cause for concern.
Absences of 20 days or more are submitted to NEWB twice yearly and parents are informed by email. If we have a concern we are obliged to report this to An Tusla even if a child has missed days through illness.
We ask parents to value every minute that the children spend at school . Children should be in their line at ten to nine and we also request parents not to collect children early, unless for a specific appointment. We use a sign-out sheet for children who are collected early by a parent. This enables us to keep a record of such absences and make parents aware of how much time is being missed
The class teacher will also monitor punctuality. Lateness is usually not the child’s fault but if a pattern develops he/she will a receive a verbal warning, before a letter is sent to parents requesting their co operation in improving punctuality . If the problem persists the Principal will then contact parents in an effort to resolve any difficulties.
When a child transfers to another school, the new school informs us in writing and the child is then taken off our register.
The child’s information is transferred through the Primary Online Database
The latest report card is transferred only if requested by the new school in writing
Promoting Good Attendance
The school promotes good attendance by
Creating a safe and welcoming and happy environment
Displaying kindness, compassion and understanding
Holding regular and open class-level discussions with the children on the importance of regular attendance and punctuality
Being vigilant so that risks to good attendance such as disadvantage, bullying etc. are identified early
Encouraging strong home school links so that parents feel free to discuss family problems
Publishing attendance policy and reminders on the School Website
Addressing parents at the AGM and Pre Enrolment parents on the importance of attendance and punctuality
Publicly and positively affirming those children who have excellent attendance with Annual Attendance Awards
Parents/guardians can promote good school attendance by:
Ensuring regular and punctual school attendance.
Notifying the School if their children cannot attend for any reason.
Working with the School and education welfare service to resolve any attendance problems;
Making sure their children understand that parents support and approve of school attendance;
Discussing planned absences with the school.
Refraining, if at all possible, from taking holidays during school time.
Showing an interest in their children’s school day and their children’s homework.
Encouraging them to participate in school activities.
Praising and encouraging their children’s achievements.
Instilling in their children, a positive self-concept and a positive sense of self-worth.
Informing the school in writing of the reasons for absence from school.
Ensuring, insofar as is possible, that children’s appointments (with dentists etc), are arranged for times outside of school hours.
Contacting the school immediately, if they have concerns about absence or other related school matters.
Pupils have the clear responsibility to attend school regularly and punctually.
Pupils should inform staff if there is a problem that may lead to their absence.
Pupils are responsible for promptly passing on absence notes from parents to their class teacher.
Pupils are responsible for passing school correspondence to their parents, on the specified day.