Attendance - A Guide For Parents And Carers

Information About Attendance

Attendance Matters

In St Joseph’s College full attendance for pupils is a high priority. Please help us to achieve this by ensuring your child’s attendance remains above 95% (Northern Ireland average 94%). 90% might seem good but it is equal to one day missed every two weeks. From Years 8-12, this equates to a total of six months of education lost.

As a Parent/Carer of a child in year 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 it is your responsibility to ensure they attend school regularly and punctually. EVERY DAY COUNTS.


How Will Regular School Attendance Help My Child?

  • School gives your child a wide range of opportunities and experiences in the form of academic lessons, educational trips and school clubs allowing them to develop their interests and achieve their full potential.
  • Regular school attendance means that your child can make the most of all these opportunities and experiences.
  • Regular attendance means your child can make the most of their education, improving their chances in adult life.
  • School can also help your child to develop social skills, such as making and keeping friendships.
  • A regular and punctual attendance pattern at school will help your child when they enter the world of work.


How Parents Can Work With The School Regarding Attendance?


If you are concerned about your child’s attendance at school please contact us. We are here to support you.

If your child has been absent from school please send in a note the next day explaining the absence to his/her Form Teacher.

The school will keep parents/guardians informed of their child’s attendance on a regular basis. The role of the Attendance Officer is to monitor the attendance patterns of all pupils and when necessary, work in partnership with parents, pupils and Education Welfare Service to improve the pupil’s attendance.


Important Points For Parents / Guardians To Note


No child may go on holiday except during the stated holiday period. In very exceptional circumstances the Board of Governors may give permission for a maximum of two weeks leave. Please do not book holidays before such permission is applied for, and only if granted. Otherwise, your child’s schooling is disrupted, progress is impaired and their overall percentage attendance will drop.

Doctors / Dentist Appointments

Please arrange medical and dental appointments for after school or during holidays, unless in a real emergency. Pupils must bring in a signed note from their parents/guardians requesting permission to leave school for appointments. This request is given to the Year Head who will arrange for the pupil to be signed out at the requested time.

Please record the type of appointment and the time of the appointment.

Important Points For Parents / Carers To Note

  • The Law says you must send your child to school for 5 days each week.
  • Your child only has one chance at school. Help them make the most of it.
  • Missing the odd day can become habit forming.
  • Keep an eye out for early signs of your child not wanting to go to school, such as moodiness, headaches or stomach aches, especially at important times like the transition into Year 8 or after school holidays. Act upon these signs early; please do not be frightened to speak to someone in school eg form teacher, year head.
  • Most children should routinely have attendance rates of 97% or more. This is equivalent to 6 absences a year. But 100% is achieved by many pupils every year.
  • Remember the only legally accepted reasons for not being in school are illness or a day of religious observance.
  • Looking after other children or shopping for new clothes are not good enough reasons for your child to be off school.
  • If your child misses one day they are already behind with schoolwork.
  • Prolonged absence from school can lead to loneliness. It can make it harder for your child to get along with other children and make friends.
  • If your child is not in school where are they?


Promoting Good Attendance

  • Designated Attendance Officer appointed to closely monitor the attendance of each pupil, form class and every year group.
  • Monthly attendance awards for pupils who achieve 100% attendance.
  • Monthly awards for the most improved Pupil in their class or year group.
  • Annual Awards (full attendance for the year).
  • Attendance Targets set for each pupil, class and year group.
  • Supporting parents/pupils were attendance is an issue.
  • Close links with Education Welfare Service and our EWO:

School EWO – Ms Brigid Spears
Ulidia Resource Centre
Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7
02890 690363


Attendance Co-Ordinator
Mrs P Whyte
Phone: 028 90491280 / 90491474

Download The information Leaflet: Attendance – A Guide For Parents And Carers

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