Cnoc an Chonnaidh, Muineachán, H18 W897

+353 (0) 47 72344



This policy is put in place to ensure full participation of every pupil in school life. It is consistent with the Mission Statement of Coláiste Oiriall which encourages each participant in the school community to ‘strive for academic excellence’ and ‘to fulfil his/ her potential’. The Education Welfare Act, 2000 provides a comprehensive framework for promoting regular school attendance. Under the Act, every child must attend must attend school regularly up to sixteen years of age or complete at least three years education in a post primary school, whichever comes later.

The National Education Welfare Board (NEWB) has been established to support school attendance and follow up children who are not attending school regularly. Coláiste Oiriall seeks to ensure that all its students receive a fulltime education which maximises opportunities for each student to realise their potential. Coláiste Oiriall strives to provide a welcoming, caring environment, whereby each member of the school community feels wanted and secure. All school staff work with students and their families to ensure each student attends regularly and punctually.

Aims and Objectives

  • To ensure that attendance and punctuality is a priority for all stakeholders in the school including students, parents and teachers.
  • To develop a framework which defines agreed roles and responsibilities and promotes consistency in carrying out designated tasks.
  • To provide support, advice and guidance for parents and students.
  • To develop a systematic approach to gathering and analysing attendance related data.
  • To further develop a system of rewards and sanctions.
  • To recognise the needs of the individual student when dealing with attendance related issues or planning reintegration following a significant period of absence

Roles and Responsibility

The Role of the Parent

A student should attend school everyday. It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their son/daughter only miss school due to illness or an “unavoidable” circumstance. Medical/dental appointments should be made outside school hours whenever possible. Students should not be taken out of school during term time for family holidays.

If a student misses a day from school it is the responsibility of the parent to notify Coláiste Oiriall of this absence. A message can be telephoned into the school office. Students returning to school following an absence must have a written note of explanation from their parent. A space is provided for these notes in the student’s journal.

Parents should ensure that their son/daughters arrive to school punctually. Students should arrive 5 minutes before both the beginning of the school day and the afternoon lessons. This gives them time to go to their locker and organise the books and equipment they require for classes.

It is school policy that students that are late will receive detention. Parents are informed of this detention via letter from the Year Head. If a pattern of persistent lateness emerges pupils will have a letter send home and further sanctions will be imposed. It is recognised that there may be unavoidable circumstances when a student may arrive late e.g. transport difficulties. The school adopts a flexible approach in these instances and works with the parents and student to support in any way possible

The Role of the Student

Students must be in class on time where the teacher of the first class period will take the registration. It is unacceptable for students to arrive in after the second bell. The school bell will ring 5 minutes before the start of Class 1 and 5 minutes before class 6 which is the first class after lunch break. Students who are late for Class 1 or Class 7 must sign the ‘Late Book’ in the office and be given a late slip to admit them to class. Supervisors will encourage students on corridors and locker and toilet areas to move to their classrooms on time.
On arrival back to school following an absence, students should show their note to the subject teacher during morning registration, who in turn will pass them onto the school secretary when visiting each class. It is expected that in all cases of absence students will catch up with work missed at the earliest opportunity.

Morning late arrival: If a student arrives to school late in the morning they will be signed in at the main office bythe school secretary and receive a late slip. Failure to sign in late is a serious breach of the school Code of Conduct and students will bedisciplined accordingly.

Afternoon late arrival: Senior students are expected to return to school punctually after the lunch break. Studentsarriving to lessons late after lunch will be sent to the School Office for a late stamp.Students with a recurring pattern of lateness after lunch may have their lunch passwithdrawn. Students who leave the school during the school day are required to sign out in the School Office, giving the time of departure and the reason.

The Role of the Principal /Deputy Principal

The Principal/Deputy Principal are responsible for the effective implementation of the school’s Attendance and Punctuality Policy. The Principal/Deputy Principal are responsible for making the appropriate attendance returns to the National Education Welfare Board (NEWB).

In liaison with Year Heads the Principal /Deputy Principal will monitor attendance and ensure quick and early intervention if a problem is identified. Year Heads and/or the Deputy Principal will use the School’s standard letters to communicate with parents/guardians of students who are frequently late for school or for class.

The Role of the Year Head

The Year Head supported by subject teachers is responsible for monitoring patterns of attendance and punctuality across their year group. The Year Head will liaise with parents where a pattern of absence or lateness to school emerges. The Year Head supports the Class Tutors in ensuring that all absences are explained by a note from parents. In a minority of cases the tutor may have difficulty in accessing a note from home. If appropriate the Year Head will intervene to ensure that these absences are explained.

Sanctions for lateness will be imposed by the Year Head and school management team in accordance with the School’s Code of Conduct. The Year Head will notify parents via letter when a student has in the region of fifteen absences, that a report will soon be issues to the National Educational Welfare Board, if the pattern continues. The school is sensitive to the individual needs and circumstances of its students and is aware that some students need encouragement to attend school regularly. The Year Head plays a role in supporting students overcome difficulties relating to attendance. This can be done by:

  • Liaising with staff
  • Working closely with Parents
  • Regularly reviewing strategy in place

The Year Head is responsible for ensuring that standards of attendance and punctuality are a priority within the Year Group. This can be done through Year team meetings, assemblies, certificates, end of year prize giving etc.

The Role of the Subject Teacher

The Subject Teacher is responsible for taking the official roll call each day during morning registration. During this time, the Class Teacher should follow up on absences and collect notes from parents explaining these absences. The tutor should alert the Year head if after a number of reminders a student fails to bring a note to explain their absence. The Subject Teacher is responsible for taking a roll call at the beginning of each lesson. These records can be made available to Year Heads, Principal or Deputy Principal should any issue regarding a student’s whereabouts at a given time arise.

Subject Teachers should inform the Year Head if patterns of absence /lateness emerge for any student in their group. The Subject Teacher can communicate any such concerns to the parent through the student journal. Where a student is detained or withdrawn from class by a person in authority, he/she will be given a written explanation for his/her absence from class by the person who detains or withdraws the student from class. No student may be absent from class without such written authority. Wherever possible the Class Teacher will be given prior notice if students are to be withdrawn from class.

The Role of the Administrative Staff

Students arriving late to school must report to the School Office where they are issued with a late slip. The administrative staff record this late on the computerised registration system.

Students leaving the school during the school day must sign out in the School Office, where the time and reason for departure is noted. The administrative staff monitors the completion of the morning roll call.

Strategies to Promote Student Participation

The school recognises that good attendance is achieved when students feel happy, secure and part of the school community. It is through encouraging the full participation of all students in all aspects of school life and in striving to promote their personal development, good citizenship and academic progress that we hope to maximise attendance patterns. We aim to do this in the following ways:


The school offers a wide range and variety of subjects and both Junior and Senior cycle. A comprehensive Transition Year Programme is also offered. Students have the support of a Career Guidance Counsellor and resource teaching when/if appropriate.


In teaching the curriculum the teacher endeavours to use a variety of methodologies, which encourage and facilitate the participation of all students. The school management provides and supports professional development of teachers by facilitating their attendance on in-service courses and by offering staff training days.


Coláiste Oiriall’s programme of co-curricular/extra-curricular activities caters for a wide range of interests in order to maximize student participation. Activities range from sports, drama, visits, lunch time clubs, charity awareness and field trips.

Pastoral Care

The school’s pastoral care structures and class organization arrangements enable all students to participate in the life of the school in a way that promotes their personal development.

Class Tutor /Year Head

The caring atmosphere nurtured by the Class Tutor also encourages full participation in school life. The form tutor supported by the Year Head plays a role in instilling a good class spirit to promote friendship and learning. This structure also provides a medium through which parents can contact and meet with teachers.

Parents’ Participation

Parents’ contribution is welcomed through the various opening available to them e.g. Parent’s Association. Parent-Teacher meetings and relevant information meetings are held during the school year. Part-time work during the school week can at times contributes to poor attendance and punctuality. Parents and students are made aware of the legal position with regard to part-time work and are alerted to any adverse effect it may have on their son/daughters performance.


A number of initiatives have been put in place to encourage good attendance and punctuality. Prizes are awarded annually for an unbroken attendance record. Tutors regularly remind students of the need to be in class and to be on time. The Student Diary is designed to assist parents and pupils to deal with absences and lateness easily and efficiently.

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Cnoc an Chonnaidh, Muineachán, H18 W897  +353-(0) 47 72344