Regular school attendance is crucial in raising standards in education and ensuring that every child can have full access to the school curriculum and reach their potential.
St. Mary’s strives to promote an ethos and culture which encourages good attendance and where each pupil feels valued and secure. Teaching staff regularly monitor the attendance and punctuality of pupils by ensuring that attendance is recorded at Registration and during every lesson.
To enable our school to record and monitor attendance in a consistent way, we will adhere to the guidance provided by the Department of Education.
St. Mary’s Grammar School is committed to working with parents to encourage regular and punctual attendance.
Role of Parent/Guardian
- Parents/guardians have a legal duty to ensure that every child of compulsory school age receives efficient full time education suitable to age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he/she may have, either by regular school attendance or otherwise. (Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986)
- It is a parent/guardian’s responsibility to inform the school of the reason for a pupil’s absence on the first day of absence. A parent/guardian should phone school before 10.00am giving the pupil’s name, Form Class / Tutor Group and reason for absence. This should be confirmed with a written note in the relevant section of the Student Planner when the pupil returns to school.
- If the absence is likely to be prolonged, this information should be provided to enable the school to assist with homework or any other necessary arrangements which may be required.
- Pupils are expected to be in school at 9.00am for Registration/Assembly. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that their child is punctual. Lateness is recorded at Registration and recorded on a pupil’s attendance record.
- If your son/daughter appears reluctant to attend school, please discuss the matter promptly with his/her Form Teacher/Tutor to ensure that both you and your son/daughter receive maximum support.
Family Holidays During Term Time
- Family holidays should not take place during term time due to the impact they have on pupils’ learning. In exceptional circumstances, if a family holiday is deemed necessary, permission should be sought in writing from the Principal. Family holidays taken during term time will be categorised as an unauthorised absence.
Attendance Matters- How Can Parents and Guardians Help?
- Establish a good routine in the mornings and evenings so your son/daughter is prepared for the school day ahead.
- Make sure your son/daughter goes to school regularly and follows the school rules.
- Ensure your son/daughter arrives at school on time – not late.
- Arrange dental and medical appointments for your son/daughter outside school hours when possible.
- Always inform the school if your son/daughter is absent due to illness – this should be followed up with a written note when he/she returns to school.
- Take truancy seriously- if your son/daughter is not attending school as you expect, he/she may be putting him/herself at risk.
- Take family holidays outside term time.
- Talk to your son/daughter about school and take an interest in his/her school work (including homework).
- Attend parent evenings and school events.
- Praise and reward your son/daughter’s achievements at school.
- Always support school staff in their efforts to address difﬁcult or challenging behaviour.
- Discuss any problems or difﬁculties your son/daughter may experience with the school – staff are here to help and support both you and your son/daughter.