The Education Welfare Act (2000) promotes school attendance and Section 17 of the legislation states that it is a statutory obligation on parents to ensure that their child attends a recognised school. Furthermore, where a child is absent from school, the parent is required under the Act to notify the principal of the school of the reason for the child’s absence. The Act states that the relevant authorities will be informed of pupils who have been absent for twenty school days or more (this includes illness, holidays outside of school holidays etc.).
- In line with the Education Welfare Act (2000), every absence by a child must be explained in writing by a parent/guardian.
- Written explanations are provided to the class teacher and are retained in the school for one year.
- Children are not permitted to leave the school premises during school hours except with the consent of a parent/guardian. The adult (children are not permitted to collect other children) collecting the child must sign the Release Book in the secretary’s office as a Child Protection measure.
- Section 21 of the Education Welfare Act 2000 places an obligation on the school to notify the Education Welfare Officer of absences exceeding 20 school days or more. However absence returns are made by the school every three months. In this school, it is the responsibility of the Deputy Principal to furnish the Board with this information.
Circular 18/00 outlines DES arrangements in relation to substitution for brief absences of permanent and temporary teachers.
See http://www.into.ie/ROI/WorkingConditions/LeaveOfAbsence/BriefAbsences/ for more detail. (See also Appendix 1)
- Substitute teachers are employed according to the regulations of the DES and the Teaching Council. Every effort is made to employ qualified teachers in substitute positions.
- Where a teacher is absent without substitute cover, the class is split up and children are sent to designated rooms by (a member of the SEN team). A list of the rooms and names of children who go to each room is displayed on the wall of each classroom from the start of the school year. (Scatter List)
- In the event of an Extra Personal Vacation day (course day), the class teacher leaves work for the children to do during the day. (See EPV Policy)
- In the event of a sudden absence, the person splitting the class sets work for the pupils.
The prior approval of the Chairperson of the Board of Management must be granted for all absences other than sick leave. (See also Sick Leave and Circular 32/07)