Implementation of Mandatory Attendance and Absentee Procedures
According to the Education Act 1990 all children from 6 years of age and under the minimum school leaving age of 17 are legally required to attend school. Parents of compulsory school aged children have the obligation that their children attend school regularly. Parents are also required to explain absences in writing of their children from school promptly and within seven days to the school.
Regular attendance at school is essential if students are to maximize their potential. Schools, in partnership with parents, are responsible for promoting the regular attendance of students.
Involvement in private lessons/activities conducted outside the school during school hours may not be conducive to the effective operation of the school or education of the student. Student’s involvement in extra-curricular activities will usually be limited to outside school hours. Where attendance at a private lesson during school hours is of exceptional importance, Principals may use their discretion in justifying the absence. This provision must not be used on a regular basis.
Parents must sign their children in and out of the school if they arrive after 8.50am or leave before the designated dismissal time of 3.05pm. The sign in/sign out book is located in the school office area. Once a child is signed in they must receive a partial absence slip from the school administration officer and take it to the class teacher before entering the class. No child who arrives late to school is allowed into the class without a signed and dated partial absence slip. If the child does not have a partial absence slip then the teacher needs to contact the school office to ascertain whether the child has been signed in. The Principal will follow up with the parents regarding the obligatory sign in procedures. A partial absence slip does not replace an absentee note. Absentee notes are still required to explain children’s absences. An absentee note can be filled in at the time of signing in/out your child.
Attendance from 8.50am to 3.05pm is compulsory for all school aged children. Children who continually arrive late or leave early find it difficult to settle. It is extremely disruptive to their individual routine as well as the routine of other students. Principals have been asked to investigate more than three occurrences of late arrival or early departure.
Please note more than 15 days absence in a school year requires an Exemption of Attendance. The exemption is provided by the Principal.
Generally leave will not be granted for family holidays taken during school term. An exception of this may be that family circumstances are such that the Principal considers that the holiday would be in the best interests of the children. Parents who wish to seek exemption from school attendance for their child/children to go on vacations during school term need to make application by completing and submitting an Application for Exemption from School Attendance form. These forms are available from the Principal. This is a mandatory requirement of the government and the Catholic School’s Office.
The power to exempt students in Catholic systemic schools for a period more than 100 days in a 12 month period currently remains with the Minister of Education. Applications should be forwarded through the Catholic Schools Office to the Catholic Education Commission.