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

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 Primary School Teachers 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 Homeroom Teachers at 08.00. The Attendance Registers are closed at 08.05.

Students must always bring a note from parents/guardians explaining an absence. This must be given to the Homeroom 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 08.05, they will be recorded as ‘Late’. One  ‘Late’ equate to one full day’s absence. A cumulative record of absences will be maintained on file.

Students who arrive after 08.00 must report directly to the Administration Office. They will be given a Late Pass by the Administrator. 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.

Students’ guardians and parents will be contacted by telephone to verbally inform them that any more lateness would lead to a bond which they would have to sign, attesting to ensure punctuality on behalf of their wards. Failure to comply with the terms of the bond would lead to further action taken on behalf of the Senior Management Team.

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 have to repeat his/her Class Year if they do not meet the end of Year academic expectations.

  • 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 the Administration, and the pupil will be sent to the Reception to be collected.

Punctuality / Lateness

Students, and of course their teachers, are required to arrive in school in sufficient time to be fully prepared, physically and mentally, for the commencement of classes at the scheduled time. If a student is late for school, s/he is required to report to Administration for a “Late Slip” which they will present to the teacher to enable them entry into the class. After three late records, the parents will be contacted to alert them that further action will be taken if the lateness persists, as this could lead to the student being registered as absent.