Our Lady of the Sacred Heart recognises that every day of attendance at school contributes towards a student's learning and that maximising school attendance enhances academic outcomes.
The purpose of this document is to document obligations and procedures that must be followed to meet those obligations.
Our school has a responsibility to record student attendance and respond to instances of irregular attendance. It is important for our school to investigate the patterns and underlying causes of non-attendance so that appropriate strategies addressing the specific type of absenteeism can be implemented.
Our school, and by virtue of their employment, our teachers, are legally required to monitor and record attendance of students in their care on a daily basis, whether absent or present in class, on excursion or at a school based activity.
Legal guardians of children have a legal obligation, as set out in the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006, to ensure a child is enrolled at and attends school.
Class rolls, whether electronic or paper based, can be required as evidence in court and assist in establishing that a school has met their common law duty of care to students. Attendance records are required as part of a school's Workplace Health and Safety requirements and can be a critical factor in identifying serious student protection concerns. In addition, student attendance records are used for student reporting, fee allocation and government reporting.
A bell will ring and Rolls must be marked twice a day:
• AM rolls at 9 am
• PM rolls after second break at 12.00 pm
Rolls will be checked by the Enrolment Officer by 9:10 am each day. A phone call will be made to teachers if their rolls are not marked. If rolls are frequently not marked this information will be passed to the School Principal or Assistant Principal.
School Leadership will be advised of unmarked and incorrectly marked rolls. Incorrectly marked rolls will be corrected by the teacher responsible for the class.
Students who are:
- in Class will be marked 'Present – In Class'.
- participating in activities (excursion, camps etc.) will be marked accordingly by the teacher responsible for the activity.
These attendance categories must not be changed, unless the student is present in class and then the category should be changed to 'Present – In Class'.
Students will only be marked as 'Present – Not Required to Attend' upon instruction from School Leadership.
- not in class, and notification has not been received from a Legal Guardian, will be marked 'Absent – Unexplained'
- not in class and notification has been received from a Legal Guardian advising the student is unwell, will be marked 'Absent – Illness'. Other absence reasons will be marked accordingly e.g. 'Appointment', 'Personal/Family'.
When marking the roll, if teachers have received written information from Legal Guardians regarding a student's absence from school, they should enter the details into a log in eMinerva.
If Legal Guardians have informed the school office of the absence the school officer will enter these details into a log in eMinerva.
Class teachers should enter any information regarding future planned absences of students by entering a Notified Absence into e-Minerva.
Students will only be marked as 'Absent – Not Required to Attend', 'Absent – Truant' or 'Absent – Internal Suspension' upon instruction from School Leadership.
An unexplained absence occurs when the student is not present at school and the Legal Guardian does not contact the school.
An SMS message will be sent to the Main Contact by approximately 9.15 am each day. The school will follow up any unexplained absences by making contact with the student's Legal Guardians.
Past unexplained absences are indicated by the red Unexplained Absence Alert icon on class rolls. When class teachers receive written explanation of the absence from student's Legal Guardians they must update the absence category in eMinerva and enter details in a log.
If a student has been absent for three days, the class teacher is to contact the parents by way of a pastoral phone call. If the teacher has any concerns regarding student absences after checking in with the parents, Leadership are to be advised.
A student is considered to have arrived late any time after 9am.
All students arriving late must be signed in by a Legal Guardian at the School office and will be given a late slip. This slip needs to be presented to the teacher when arriving in class. If they do not have a late slip they are to be sent to the School Office to sign in.
The late arrival information will be entered by office staff.
School Office staff will contact the Legal Guardian of any student arriving late unaccompanied.
If teachers observe a student has made a habit of arriving late or is late for three consecutive days, they will contact the student's Legal Guardian as per the policy for absentee students in this document.
A student is considered to be leaving early any time before 2:50 pm.
As with Late Arrivals, all students leaving early must be signed out at the School Office by a Legal Guardian.
Unexplained Absences: An SMS message will be sent to students' Main Contact by 9:15 each day advising of any 'Unexplained' absences. Any incorrect messages caused by incorrect roll-marking will be made known to the Assistant Principal. The teacher will follow up by telephoning the student's Legal Guardians.
Non-Marking of Electronic Roll
If the school computer system is offline, hard copies of all class rolls will be provided by the School Office. Once the system is online the teacher will mark the roll in eMinerva. This may be done the next day if necessary.
In the event of an evacuation, hard copies of rolls will be taken to the evacuation area to be marked by teachers. Teacher will advise the Evacuation coordinator of any unexplained absentees. During a lockdown the roll will not be marked.
An activity will be entered into eMinerva for students attending excursions, camps and other school based activities.
Activities will be marked by the staff member responsible for the event, e.g. Present – Sports/Arts; Present - Excursion. This attendance category will inherit through the rest of the student's timetable for the day.
These attendance categories must not be changed, unless the student is present at school and then the category should be changed to 'Present – In Class'.
Attendance Marking Training
School leadership will provide attendance marking training to teaching staff annually.
School leadership will ensure all staff receive a written copy of the Attendance Policy and Procedures document and will review this document annually.
A copy of the Attendance Policy and Procedures document will be included in Relief staff folders.
Relief Staff will mark online if they can or a paper roll. This is to be sent to the office by 9:05 each day.
In the event of an evacuation, paper copies of rolls will be taken to evacuation area and marked by class teachers. The class teacher will advise the coordinator of the evacuation of any unexplained absentees.
During a lockdown the roll will not be marked.