Ballymena Primary School is committed to the provision of a safe, happy and stimulating learning environment. Within this environment, every child is encouraged to develop their potential, make healthy choices and become a confident, independent learner.
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. Ballymena Primary will strive to promote an ethos and culture which encourages good attendance and where each pupil will feel valued and secure.
- To improve/maintain the overall attendance and punctuality of pupils at Ballymena Primary School.
- To develop a framework that defines roles and responsibilities in relation to attendance.
- To provide advice, support and guidance to parents/guardians and pupils.
- To promote good relationships with the Education Welfare Service.
Role of the School
- The Principal has overall responsibility for school attendance; staff should bring any concerns regarding school attendance to his/her attention.
- The Board of Governors provides support by reviewing school attendance figures and targets and ensuring attendance is regularly placed as an agenda item.
- Teaching staff will regularly monitor the attendance and punctuality of pupils by ensuring that attendance is recorded at the beginning of morning and afternoon registration sessions.
- To enable our school to accurately record and monitor attendance in a consistent way we will adhere to the guidance provided in the Department of Education Circular 2015/02, which can be found at the following link:
- Ballymena Primary School is committed to working with parents to encourage regular and punctual attendance,
Role of Parents/Carers
- Parents have a legal duty* to ensure their child of compulsory school age shall receive efficient full time education suitable to age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs they may have, either by regular school attendance or otherwise.
* Article 45(1) of The Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986
- If a child is registered in school, their parent has a legal duty to ensure that they regularly attend that school.
- It is a parent’s responsibility to inform the school of the reason for a pupil’s absence on the first day of absence. This should be confirmed with a written note 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 8.55am for registration and the beginning of classes. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that your child is punctual. Lateness is recorded at registration and on your child’s attendance record.
- If your child appears reluctant to attend school please discuss the matter promptly with the class teacher or Principal to ensure that both you and your child receive maximum support.
Role of Pupils
- Each pupil at Ballymena Primary School must attend school punctually and regularly. Absence from school must be supported by a written note from a parent/guardian on return to school.
- All absences are recorded on the teacher’s daily registration sheet. In the case of unexplained absences, until a written note is sent in to the teacher to explain an absence, the absence is recorded as ‘no reason given’. Should this become a pattern, the parent may be contacted or the child referred to the EWS.
- All absences are collated weekly in an electronic format.
- Ballymena Primary School discourages holidays during term time due to the impact this may have on pupil learning. Family holidays taken during term time will be categorised as an unauthorised absence. Only in exceptional circumstances will a holiday be authorised.
Procedures for Managing Non-attendance and Punctuality Issues
- The teaching staff will record pupil attendance and punctuality on a daily basis and refer concerns to the principal.
- The principal will regularly monitor all pupil attendance and punctuality and will liaise on a regular basis with the school’s Education Welfare Officer.
- If a pupil’s absence or punctuality causes concern or attendance falls below 85%, parents will be informed by letter. If concerns continue, the pupil may be referred by the school to the Education Welfare Service.
- The principal will liaise with parents/carers, the Board of Governors, the Education Welfare Services and other agencies on issues of attendance and punctuality, as appropriate.
Education Welfare Service
- The Education Authority, through the Education Welfare Service (EWS), has a legal duty to make sure that parents meet their responsibility towards their children’s education.
- EWS will support staff and parents in developing and implementing strategies to address or improve school attendance.