It is the responsibility of all parents to see that their children attend school regularly. The building is open for the children from 8.55a.m. and they are allowed to go directly into class from this time until the 9a.m. bell. After the bell the doors are closed and children who are late must report to the school office. When it is raining children are allowed into the school building earlier.
Schools are required, by the Department for Education and Skills, to distinguish between authorised and unauthorised absences, between absences for medical reasons and absences for other reasons. From 1st September 2013, the Department of Education have changed the regulations regarding requests for family holidays during term time. This means that there is no legal entitlement for parents to take their children on holiday during term time.
Our Learning Mentor, Mrs C. Sellers, monitors absence and punctuality, maintaining a close working relationship with the Education Welfare Service. Mrs. Sellers will contact parents on the first day of their child’s absence. She may ask to speak to parents if absences or punctuality are at a concerning level.
Parents are requested to make every effort to ensure that their children arrive in school on time. The beginning of the morning and afternoon sessions is a valuable part of the school day. Often this is a time when instructions are given and when discussions take place about the day’s work.
Regular attendance and punctuality are life skills that cannot be learned too early in life. At St. Mark’s we encourage the acquisition of these skills in a variety of ways.
For the academic year 2017/18 the percentage of unauthorised absences was 1.54%. It is important to note that this is NOT a record of truancy in the school, but is the number of days absent that we have either, not had an explanation for or that we are unable to authorise.
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