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Attendance and Punctuality Policy

St Patrick’s Primary School and Magheradroll Nursery Unit



Regular school attendance is crucial in raising standards in education and ensuring that every child can have full access to the school curriculum and reach their potential.

St Patrick’s Primary School and Magheradroll Nursery Unit will strive to promote an ethos and culture which encourages good attendance and where each pupil will feel valued and secure.

Mission Statement of St Patrick’s Primary School:

In St Patrick’s Primary School we challenge, motivate, and inspire in a happy, safe and stimulating learning environment where all members of the school community are valued, grow in the Catholic faith, develop their self-esteem and achieve their full potential as a unique individual so that they can play a valuable role in society.

Mission Statement of Magheradroll Nursery Unit:

In Magheradroll Nursery, we develop every child personally, socially, physically, intellectually and spiritually in a happy, secure, caring and stimulating environment. We work in partnership with parents to promote self -confidence, self-esteem, independence and a love of learning in an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment.


  1. To improve/maintain the overall attendance of pupils at St Patrick’s Primary School and Magheradroll Nursery Unit.
  2. To develop a framework that defines roles and responsibilities in relation to attendance.
  3. To provide advice, support and guidance to parents/guardians and pupils.
  4. To promote good relationships with the Education Welfare Service.

Role of the School

The Principal at St Patrick’s Primary School and Magheradroll Nursery Unit has overall responsibility for school attendance; Teachers should bring any concerns regarding school attendance to his/her attention.

The Board of Governors provide support by reviewing school attendance figures and targets and ensuring it is placed as an agenda item at each meeting.

Teaching staff regularly monitor the attendance and punctuality of pupils by ensuring that attendance is recorded at the beginning of morning and afternoon registration sessions.

To enable our school to accurately record and monitor attendance in a consistent way we will adhere to the guidance provided in the Department of Education Circular 2015/02, which can be found at the following link:

St Patrick’s Primary School and Magheradroll Nursery Unit is committed to working with parents to encourage regular and punctual attendance.

The school and nursery actively promote attendance and punctuality in the School and Nursery Newsletter and on the Facebook pages. The DENI link is also shared:

In school class awards are presented each month at assembly for the most improved attendance and the highest attendance. Children with full attendance are recognised at the end of year assembly.


Role of Parent

Parents have a legal duty[1] to ensure their child of compulsory school age shall receive efficient full time education suitable to age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs they may have, either by regular school attendance or otherwise.

If a child is registered in school, their parent has a legal duty to ensure that they regularly attend that school.

It is a parent’s responsibility to inform the school of the reason for a pupil’s absence on the first day of absence. This should be confirmed with a written note when the pupil returns to school. If the absence is likely to be prolonged, this information should be provided to enable the school to assist with homework or any other necessary arrangements which may be required.

Pupils are expected to be in school at 8.55am for registration and the beginning of classes. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that your child is punctual. Lateness is recorded at registration and on your child’s attendance record.

If your child appears reluctant to attend school please discuss the matter promptly with the class teacher or Principal to ensure that both you and your child receive maximum support.


Role of Pupils

Each pupil at St Patrick’s Primary School and Magheradroll Nursery Unit must attend school punctually and regularly. If you have been absent from school, a written note from a parent/guardian must be provided to your teacher when you return.

Absence Procedures

All Parents/Guardians are required to notify the school of any absence in writing, providing a clear reason for any absence.

Family holidays during Term Time

St Patrick’s Primary School and Magheradroll Nursery Unit discourages holidays during term time due to the impact they have on pupils’ learning. Family holidays taken during term time will be categorised as an unauthorised absence. Only in exceptional circumstances will a holiday be authorised. A request for an authorised absence for holiday must be made in writing to the principal.

Procedures for Managing Non-attendance

Teachers will monitor non-attendance and inform the principal should they have any concerns regularly absence patterns. The Principal will then contact the parent to discuss the issue and work in partnership to promote regular and punctual attendance.

The Principal monitors attendance on a half-termly basis, identifying children with attendance of <88%. Parents are contacted initially to raise awareness and encouraged to ensure regular and consistent attendance. Should there be no improvement, the principal will contact parents making them aware of this and request them to contact him to discuss. Parents are also informed of the possible involvement of the EWS should attendance continue to show no improvement. Following this, if there continues to be no improvement a referral will take place, following consultation with EWS.

Education Welfare Service

The Education Authority through the Education Welfare Service (EWS) have a legal duty to make sure that parents meet their responsibility towards their children’s education.

If a pupil’s absence causes concern, or if their attendance falls below 85%, they will be referred to the EWS, if appropriate. EWS will support staff and parents in developing and implementing strategies to address or improve school attendance.


[1] Article 45(1) of The Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986