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Attendance Policy

Primary School
Secondary School

Primary School Attendance Policy

Introduction

Your child’s attendance at school is very important. Our educational programme in the Primary school is solidly based on the assumption that pupils will attend school regularly, in accordance with the School calendar and the daily schedule. Regular attendance is compulsory in order to fulfil the requirements and assignments in all subjects. Erratic attendance will inevitably impede the rate of progress, limit the student’s potential achievements and negatively affect his or her academic record. The student must be in class to progress.

Furthermore, if any student(s) is/are absent it potentially disrupts the learning and success of others. The absentee may, for instance, be involved in a collaborative or group project, where progress of a number of other students may be negatively affected. The grades of students who conscientiously attend school may suffer as a consequence of the erratic attendance of their less conscientious classmates.

In addition, the teacher, whose time, obviously, is finite, may be obliged to divert his or her attention from whole-class activities/learning to attend to the absentee’s knowledge gaps and bring him or her ‘up to speed.’ Simply because of one student’s casual attitude.

Regular, punctual attendance is therefore non-negotiable and required of every pupil.

Purpose of the Attendance Policy

It is intended that this policy, the implementation of which involves a collaborative effort on the part of the entire school community, that is students, parents, staff and the Board, gives clear, practical guidance as to the means of monitoring, maintaining and if necessary improving the levels of attendance expected, without exception, of every student.

The Attendance Policy has been designed to ensure:

  • that all members of the school community are clearly aware of their responsibilities
  • consistency and coherence of class teaching, thus enabling all students to achieve outstanding levels of achievement, progress and personal growth.

Absences

Students should therefore be absent only for necessary and important reasons, such as illness or family/personal emergency. Parents may excuse their children from school for such reasons, but ARIS may at its own discretion not honour parent-signed excuses on other pretexts. Because of the inevitable toll on academic progress in particular, the school seeks willing co-operation from parents in exercising the utmost restraint in excusing their children from school.

Authorised/Excused Absences

A student may be excusably absent from school due to personal illness, death in the family, emergency dental or medical treatment, religious holiday, procurement of essential documents, renewal of passports, or other vital reasons if approved in advance by the Principal. If at all possible, medical/dental appointments during school hours must be avoided.

Unauthorised/Unexcused Absences

Unexcused absences include truancy, cutting/skipping a class, suspension, absences that have not been followed up with a note from parents, or other reasons not approved by the Principal. Work missed for such absences must be completed. Unexcused absences inevitably affect marks and report grades negatively.

Truancy

Truancy is considered to be a student missing part or all of the school day without parental and the school's permission, and is treated as very serious offence. Leaving campus without permission during the school day constitutes truancy. Not least because of safety and security considerations, the school will immediately attempt to contact the parents if the student is inexplicably absent.

Obviously, truancy has a deleterious effect on the student's educational progress. The Head of Primary is responsible for dealing with truancy and the consequences thereof. Disciplinary action may entail up to three days suspension, which will remain permanently on the student’s record.

Consequences of Unexcused Absences

Because tertiary institutions responsible for the next phase of any student’s education will require evidence, the record of attendance routinely becomes a permanent entry on a student’s file. It is also a requirement under the laws of Ghana.

If poor attendance persists, it may be necessary to have the student repeat all or part of the school year, or to request that the parents withdraw the student from the school.

A student absent for six days or more (excused or unexcused) during the term will receive formal acknowledgement of school attendance only upon review of the circumstances of the absences and the final level of achievement in work undertaken.

Compensation (make-up) for extended absences for medical reasons should be arranged through the Class teacher in consultation with the Head of Primary. Pupils are responsible for making up all missed work, whether or not an absence was excused.

The Faculty will make reasonable efforts to assist students in making up school work for excused absences, but will also be mindful, as stated previously, that in doing so their attention may be diverted from the needs of the majority of students in the class. Students absent on the day of an assessment are expected to make up the assessment on return to school.

Procedures

Responsibility

The Head of Primary is responsible for setting and overseeing attendance procedures, and for ensuring that:

  • attendance is checked and reported daily
  • a daily record of attendance is maintained and logged, and
  • written explanations are submitted by parents for all absences

Registration Procedure

Registration of student attendance is a national, legal requirement.

Registration of student attendance is taken by the Class Teachers at 07.50. The Attendance Registers are closed at 07.55.

Students must always bring a note from parents/guardians explaining an absence. This must be given to the Class Teacher at registration on the first day of return to school.

Late Arrivals

If students arrive to class after the Register has been closed at 07.55, they will be recorded as ‘Late’. Every ‘Lateness’ equates to one full day’s absence. A cumulative record of absences will be maintained on file.

Students who arrive after 07.55 must report directly to the Reception Desk and sign the Late Book, entering their time of arrival and the explanation for their being late. They will be given a Late Pass by the Receptionist. When the student arrives at the lesson with a Late Pass, s/he must submit it to the teacher, who will decide if and when the student will be admitted to the class.

Non-Attendance

In the event of illness or other unforeseen absence, parents are requested to call Reception and report the student’s absence by 07.45 latest. They should then follow-up with an explanatory note on the student’s return to class. When excusable absences can be foreseen, students must complete a form for the duration of the planned absence and return it to their Class Teacher.

The absence will be classified as unexcused until an adequate explanation is received. Parents should notify Reception each day of the absence, unless the Head of Primary has been notified of a prolonged absence in advance.

Follow-up Procedures

The following time quota apply from the start of any one academic year.

  • Parents will be contacted by the ARIS Administrator when the student has reached six days of unexcused absence.
  • Parents will be informed in writing by the ARIS Administrator when the student has reached 12 days of unexcused absence.
  • A final telephone call will be made by the ARIS Administrator to parents when the student has reached 16 days of unexcused absence.
  • When the student has been absent for 18 days, the parents will receive notification in writing that the student will not be allowed to return to school the following year.
  • If a student is absent for more than 30 days, s/he will not be able to return to school without the approval of the Board.

Appointments during the Day

Students may only leave during the school day if collected by a designated responsible adult and 24 hours’ prior notice has been given to the Class Teacher. The responsible adult must first report to Reception and the pupil will be sent to the Reception to be collected.

Secondary School Attendance Policy

Introduction

The ARIS educational programme in the Secondary School is solidly based on the assumption that students will attend school regularly, in accordance with the published School Calendar and the daily schedule. Regular class attendance is a must for fulfilling the many requirements and assignments in all subjects, and for completing each course of study satisfactorily. Erratic attendance will inevitably impede the rate of progress, limit the student’s potential achievements and negatively affect his or her academic record. 

It should be self-evident that students learn through participation in class; they learn through interaction with the teacher, with their peers, through discussion, tests, quizzes, written work and examinations. The student, therefore, must be in class to progress. The classroom (or Science Lab, or Library or Multimedia Resource Centre, for example) is the focus of the learning dynamic and being a part of that dynamic is absolutely essential.

Furthermore, if any student(s) is/are absent it potentially disrupts the learning and success of others in the group or class. The absentee may, for instance, be involved in a collaborative or group project, where progress of a number of other students may be negatively affected. The grades of students who conscientiously attend school may suffer as a consequence of the erratic attendance of a few, less conscientious classmates. There are no inbuilt compensatory mechanisms to prevent this happening, and it may even negatively impact examination results at IGCSE and Diploma Programme level. There are clear instances of this having occurred.

What should the teacher do? Within the time constraints s/he may feel obliged to divert his or her attention from whole-class activities/learning to attend to the absentee’s knowledge gaps and bring him ‘up to speed.’ Because someone does not consider that education should take precedence over domestic comfort and convenience, or believes that the school calendar should fit around their personal holiday arrangements, the quality and the extent of learning for an entire class could be placed in jeopardy.

Similarly, disregard of the ARIS academic calendar may mean that a student misses some or all of their end-of-semester examinations. Unless the situation has arisen because of some unforeseen crisis, such as a medical emergency (where all possible support will be provided), disruptions to the curriculum occasioned by inadequate planning will not be accepted. In short, no provision will be made for students who miss internal examinations unless the circumstances were unavoidable. 

Regular, punctual attendance is therefore non-negotiable and required of every student.

Purpose of the Attendance Policy

It is intended that this policy, the implementation of which involves a collaborative effort on the part of the entire school community, that is students, parents, staff and the Board, gives clear, practical guidance as to the means of monitoring, maintaining and if necessary improving the attendance rate of every student.

The Attendance Policy has been designed to ensure that:

  • all members of the school community are clearly aware of their responsibility to aim for and maintain a 100% attendance record
  • quality teaching and learning occurs consistently, regularly and coherently, without disruption or interference, thus enabling all students to maximise their levels of achievement, progress and personal growth.

Absences

Students should therefore be absent only when it is unavoidable, such as illness or family/personal crisis or emergency. Parents may excuse their children from school for such reasons, but ARIS may at its own discretion not honour parent-signed excuses on other pretexts. Because of the inevitable toll on academic progress in particular, the school seeks willing co-operation from parents in exercising the utmost restraint in excusing their children from school. Frivolous requests, and requests which arise from a failure to plan travel overseas in compliance with the school calendar, will be denied.

Authorised/Excused Absences

A student may be excused absence from school due to personal illness, death in the family, emergency dental or emergency medical treatment, religious holiday, procurement of essential documents, renewal of passports at the behest of Embassies, or other vital reasons if approved in advance by the Head of Secondary. If at all possible, medical/dental appointments during school hours must be avoided.

Unauthorised/Unexcused Absences

Unexcused absences include truancy, cutting/skipping a class, suspension, absences that have not been followed up with a note from parents, or other reasons not approved by the Head of Secondary. Work missed during such absences must be completed but will be not be given credit and will be graded zero. Unexcused absences inevitably affect marks and report grades negatively and, as previously stated, the Faculty will not be disposed to compensate for them.

Truancy

Truancy is considered to be a student missing part or all of the school day without parental and the school's permission, and is treated as a very serious offence. Leaving campus without permission during the school day constitutes truancy. Not least because of safety and security considerations,the school will immediately attempt to contact the parents if the student is apparently truant.

Obviously, truancy has a deleterious effect on the student's educational progress. The Head of Secondary is responsible for dealing with truancy and the consequences thereof. Disciplinary action may entail up to three days suspension, which will remain permanently on the student’s record.

Consequences of Unexcused Absences

Because tertiary institutions responsible for the next phase of any student’s education will require background evidence, the record of attendance routinely becomes a permanent entry on a student’s file. It is also a requirement under the laws of Ghana.

If poor attendance persists, it may be necessary to have the student repeat all or part of the school year, or to request that the parents withdraw the student from the school.

A student absent for six days or more (excused or unexcused) during the semester will receive formal acknowledgement of school attendance only upon review of the circumstances of the absences and the final level of achievement in work undertaken. At the discretion of the Head of Secondary, additional assessment may be required to fulfil the course requirements.

Compensation (make-up) for extended absences for medical reasons should be arranged through the subject teacher(s) in consultation with the Head of Secondary. Students are responsible for making up all missed work, whether or not an absence was excused. Credit will not be given for work made up after an unexcused absence and accordingly will be zero-graded.

The Faculty will make reasonable efforts to assist students in making up school work for excused absences, but will also be mindful, as stated previously, that in doing so their attention may be diverted from the needs of the majority of students in the class. Students absent on the day of a test are expected to make up the test immediately on return to school and may be required to do this during break time.

Procedures

Responsibility

The Head of Secondary is responsible for setting and overseeing attendance procedures, including those for persistent lateness, and for ensuring that:

  • attendance/lateness is checked and reported daily
  • a daily record of attendance/lateness is maintained and logged, and
  • written explanations are submitted by parents for all absences.

Registration Procedure

Registration of student attendance is a requirement under Ghanaian law.

Every Secondary School student is assigned to a Homeroom, corresponding with his or her Year group.

Following the daily Faculty briefing at 07.45, registration of student attendance is taken by the Homeroom Teachers at 07.50. The Attendance Registers are closed at 07.55. A student arriving after 07.55 must first report to Reception and will be designated a 'Latecomer', and the lateness/tardiness procedure is applied (refer below).

Students must always bring a note from parents/carers explaining an absence. This must be given (by the student) to the Homeroom Teacher at the 07.50 registration on the first day of return to school. Without an explanatory note, giving a justification of the absence in accordance with this policy, the attendance records will show a student as absent on that day (or days). 

Latecomers

If students arrive in the Homeroom after the Register has been closed at 07.55, they will be recorded as ‘Late’. A cumulative record of student absences is maintained on file. Every ‘Late’ equates to one full day’s absence. Parents/carers will be notified of the deficiency by letter or email.

Students who arrive after 07.55 must report directly to the Reception Desk and sign the Late Book, entering their time of arrival and the explanation for their being late. They will be given a Late Pass by the Receptionist. When the student arrives at the lesson with a Late Pass, s/he must submit it to the lesson teacher, who will decide if and when the student will be admitted to the class.

After 08.00 a student is considered inexcusably 'Absent' (unless there has been prior notification) and as soon as practicable, but by 09.00, the staff at Reception will notify parents/carers by SMS, telephone or email. It is recommended that a parent or carer check for such notification daily, should they have any doubts or concerns about their child's attendance.

Non-Attendance

In the event of illness or other unforeseen absence, parents are kindly requested to call Reception and report the student’s absence by 08.00 at the latest. The parent should then follow-up with an explanatory note on the student’s return to class. When excusable absences can be foreseen, parents/carers must complete a form (obtainable from Reception) for the duration of the planned absence and students must return it to their Homeroom Teacher.

The absence will be classified as unexcused until an adequate explanation is received. Parents should notify Reception each day of the absence, unless the Head of Secondary has been notified of a prolonged absence in advance.

Follow-up Procedures

The follow-up procedures are the responsibility of the ARIS Administrator, who will refer cases of persistent/prolonged absence to the ARIS Board.

The following procedures and time quota apply from the start of any one academic year.

  • Parents will be contacted by the ARIS Administrator when the student has reached six days of unexcused absence.
  • Parents will be informed in writing by the ARIS Administrator if/when the student has reached 12 days of unexcused absence.
  • A final communication will be made by the ARIS Administrator to parents if/when the student has reached 16 days of unexcused absence.
  • When the student has been absent for 18 days, the parents will receive notification in writing that the student will not be allowed to return to school the following year.
  • If a student is absent for more than 30 days, s/he will not be able to return to school without the approval of the Board.

Appointments during the Day

Students may only leave during the school day if collected by a designated responsible adult and 24 hours’ prior notice has been given to the Homeroom Teacher. The responsible adult must first report to Reception and must be accompanied to the classroom to collect the student. Appointments which disrupt a student's daily schedule are firmly discouraged.