School Attendance and Participation

Mission Statement  

Archbishop McHale College has a proud tradition of providing a comprehensive system of education.  The school is inclusive, student centred, enabling and community focused.  It is the only co-educational school in the town of Tuam.  In this context we strive to have our parents, teachers, and community members, Board of Management and Co. Galway VEC actively involved in our students’ learning.  We believe that learning is maximised when it takes place in an environment of support, encouragement and assistance.  We seek to instil in our students high standards of academic scholarship, integrity, leadership and responsible citizenship.

The school attendance policy supports this effort.  It is a policy that is for implementation by all staff, parents, students and Board of Management.


At Archbishop McHale College, we are aware of the importance of achieving a good standard of education and all staff work, in conjunction with parents, to ensure that students attending the school develop o their full potential.

We make each other aware of the link between school attendance and academic achievement and therefore we strive to make school a happy place, where both staff and students feel safe.  We work closely with the Education Welfare Officer and Home School Liaison to make parents aware of their responsibility to send their children to school (Education / Welfare Act 2000).

Aims of School Attendance Policy 

  • To help us develop strategies that will make the school a safe, welcoming environment where students’ needs are met as far as is possible.
  • Implement strategies for monitoring and recording school attendance
  • To ensure that school attendance and participation is on everyone’s agenda (staff, parents, students)
  • It provides for partnership between the school and parents in the education of their teenagers
  • To rack reasons for non attendance
  • To enable the school to work in partnership with the Education Welfare Officer and NEWB on issues relating to school attendance.
  • To support parents where school attendance is a problem

This policy applies to all students in the school.  Special attention is given to students in Junior Cycle who have a legal requirement to attend school 

The Relationship between Parents and Archbishop McHale College regarding School Attendance  

The school takes responsibility to provide parents with information relating to the start and end of each term and of the dates of midterm breaks. Notification of parent/teacher meetings is also included in this document.  This document highlights the importance of school attendance in the footnote.

The Code of Behaviour provides information to parents regarding procedures if their son/daughter has a legitimate absence from school.

Parents are made aware that absences over 20 days, irrespective of reasons, in any term or cumulative is reported to the Education Welfare Officer.

A School Register (Roll Book) is kept and school attendance is taken each morning

Removal of a Student from the Register.

If a student leavesArchbishopMchaleCollege, their name stays on the school register of this school until such time as there is written confirmation from the transferring school that the student is on their register. ArchbishopMcHaleCollegethen informs the Education Welfare Officer of the transfer.

Absence on School Related Activities

Students on School Related Activities authorised by the Principal are marked present on the school attendance register.

Success Criteria: 

The success of our school attendance strategies will be measured as follows:

  • Improved attendance rates overall as well as the ‘at risk’ group
  • We will be more efficient at monitoring explained / unexplained absences
  • There will be shared responsibility for education with parents.
  • There will be a greater awareness overall / school culture regarding punctuality as a life skill.
  • The management ofArchbishopMcHaleCollegewill be able to monitor school retention.
  • Examination results will have improved.
  • Students will have acquired important life skills.

School Attendance Strategies 

  • Starting in First Year, the importance of regular school attendance is emphasised
  • At the annual awards evening two shields (Junior and Senior) are engraved with the names of the students who have had a perfect attendance record.  All students who have less than 10 days absences in the year are given a certificate of attendance.  Students are reminded of these awards during the year. All students are aware of the perfect attendance record of some students.
  • Parents are discouraged from taking students out of school for holidays or farm work
  • Reasons for absences are checked on a daily basis when the roll call.
  • Attendance / Punctuality is recorded on school reports
  • In the case of vulnerable families,  visits from HSCL may be helpful
  • When a student leaves early they must have a signed note from parents
  • I-flow text if someone is missing
  • Punctuality at the start of day, change of classes is highlighted
  • Liaison with School Completion Co-ordinator regarding vulnerable students
  • Guidance / Counselling in-school/ out of school for some students.
  • The question WHY? is used.