Mercy Secondary School Inchicore

Attendance Policy

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Attendance & Punctuality Policy

This policy operates within the context of the School Mission Statement and the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.

Mission Statement

Mercy Secondary School, inspired by the vision of Catherine McAuley, is a learning community that aims for excellence while nurturing a living relationship with Christ through compassion for all.

Aims of Policy on Attendance and Punctuality

  • To have a positive impact on pupil attendance and punctuality in order to maximise the individual potential and performance of each pupil
  • To increase motivation for both parents/guardians and pupils to improve school attendance and punctuality.
  • To improve the quality of participation and educational attainment for each pupil in the educational process.

Objectives of Attendance Policy

  • Maintain an effective attendance tracking system through the use of the school administration system.
  • Provide Senior Management and Class Tutors with regular computerised reports on pupil attendance.
  • Encourage good attendance at school and emphasise the importance of punctuality and attendance amongst students and parents/guardians. To encourage parents/guardians to send children to school in all but exceptional circumstances.
  • Communicate concerns to parents/guardians regarding an individual pupil’s attendance and punctuality record, and develop suitable intervention strategies.

Rationale of Policy

  • A good education gives a child the best possible start in life.
  • A child who goes to school regularly and punctually will be better able to keep up with school work and gain from the school ethos and environment.
  • A child who consistently attends school is less likely to be drawn into anti-social behaviour.
  • The school must meet its obligations in compliance with the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000.
  • The promotion of Educational Progression.

Education (Welfare) Act, 2000

Under Section 20 of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, the school must maintain a register of all students attending the school.

Under Section 21 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, the school must record the attendance or non-attendance of students registered at the school on each school day.

Under legislation, every child between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school regularly up to 16 years of age or complete 3 years’ education in a post primary school; whichever comes later. The Child and Family agency TUSLA was set up to support school attendance and Educational Welfare Officers were appointed to follow up on children who are not attending school regularly. Under the Act, a school is obliged to report to TUSLA every time:

  • It decides to expel a student.
  • A Student has been absent for 20 days or more cumulatively.
  • A student who is, in the opinion of the Principal, not attending school regularly
  • A student’s name is removed from the school register.
  • A student has been suspended for not less than 6 days in the course of a school year.

The school must prepare two student absence reports and one annual attendance report. These can be submitted online on

If there is a concern that a child is missing out on his education, the Educational Welfare Officer may visit the family home to discuss the matter. He or she will work with the family and the school to identify what needs to be done to ensure that the individual child gets every chance to enjoy school.

Attendance and Student Responsibility

  • Pupils are expected to be present and punctual for school and all classes. Pupils are required to be in class every morning at 8.45am
  • In the event of an absence the student must present a written note of explanation in their homework journal to their class tutor from their parent/guardian. The tutor will leave this letter with the school secretary who will record the reason for absence on vsware.
  • A pupil may not leave the school before the time of dismissal without presenting a written request to the Class Tutor from her parent/guardian at 10.45 am.

Attendance and Parental Responsibility

The primary responsibility for a student’s attendance lies with the parents (The Education Welfare Act 2000).

  • When a student is absent from school for any reason, parents/guardians must notify the school by telephone, on or before the first day of absence. If no communication is received, the school will endeavour to contact the parents/guardians of the absent student. Via text. (Parents/guardians are required to provide a note of explanation for any absence in their child’s homework journal. These notes are checked by the Class Tutor on the child’s return to school and handed into the school secretary).
  • Parents/guardians must provide written notes in the student’s Journal explaining reasons for lateness.
  • The Department of Education and Science recommends that parents must try to ensure that family holidays are scheduled during holiday times and that any appointments where possible are made outside of school hours.


Parents/guardians are expected to cooperate with the school in ensuring punctuality, which is essential for the smooth running of the school. It is an important discipline that is vital for the teaching and learning environment of the school. Poor punctuality causes disruption and contributes to the loss of class time.

  • Students are expected to be in class every morning at 8.45am.
  • Students are expected to be punctual for every class throughout the day and may not leave class without the permission of the incoming teacher.Sanctions will be imposed for persistent lateness to school and lateness to individual classes.

Procedures For Monitoring Attendance

  • Each tutor takes a morning roll call 10.45 am using a computerised registration system. Teachers also have the facility to take individual class roll calls on this system. Parents/guardians of absent students for the morning roll call are notified by SMS at 11 am . Lists of students who will be absent on any activities are recorded on the administration system.
  • The parents/guardians of absent pupils may be contacted by phone and/or letter to check/verify attendance.
  • Class Tutors are informed on a daily basis of student absences. In addition, each Class Tutor receives weekly/monthly reports and where there is a concern contact is made with a parent/guardian.
  • The Principal writes to parents/guardians if a student has 10 days’ absence from school, outlining the consequences of further absences. This is followed by further communication to parents/guardians once a student reaches 20 days absence from school. This letter informs parents that these absences will be notified to the Educational Welfare Officer.
  • A record of absent days and late attendance is given to parents/guardians as part of the Mid-Term, Christmas and Summer school reports.
  • As part of the School Completion Programme, the school liaises with the school completion coordinator. The role of the coordinator is to monitor pupil attendance, prepare attendance reports and communicate with the Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Heads and Class Tutors on matters relating to attendance. He/she also liaises with the Educational Welfare Officer and prepares reports for TUSLA.
  • Returns are made to the TUSLA on a regular basis and the school liaises frequently with the appointed Educational Welfare Officer.
  • The Home School Community Liaison Officer provides support to parents/guardians in order to improve the educational outcomes for the pupils. The scheme aims to promote partnership and cooperation between home, school and relevant community agencies to ensure every child attends regularly and receives an equal educational opportunity in our school.


Disciplinary actions consistent with the school’s Code of Behaviour will be imposed by the Principal, Deputy Principal and Year Heads for absences from school without permission.

School Refusal/ Prolonged Absence

In exceptional or sensitive circumstances, a student may be absent for a prolonged period. Prior to the student’s return, the Student Support Team will set individualised procedures or support structures to meet the needs of the student and to facilitate the student’s return to school.

Rewarding Students for Good Attendance:

Pupils with good attendance records are presented with certificates of attendance each

term and at the end of the year awards ceremony.

Evaluation of Policy

The Attendance and Punctuality Policy will be monitored by the Principal and Deputy Principal in conjunction with staff on an annual basis and will be formally reviewed in the 2019 /2020 academic year.

Adopted By the Board of Management

Thomas Davis Street West, Goldenbridge, Inchicore, Dublin.
01 453 1262
© 2021 Mercy Secondary School Inchicore