ATTENDANCE

Enrolment of learners and their regular and punctual attendance at school are prerequisites for an educated nation. Moreover, enrolment and punctual, regular attendance at school are important because:

(a) each school has a duty to protect each learner’s fundamental right to education.
(b) enrolment at a school places a learner under an obligation to attend school punctually and regularly, unless there is a valid reason for absence.
(c) a school that successfully curbs absence without valid reason will most likely improve learner retention and performance.

4. LEARNER ABSENCE

Definition of ‘absent’

A learner is deemed to be absent from school when the learner is not present at school.

5. VALID REASON FOR ABSENCE

5.1 While punctual and regular attendance is necessary, from time to time, it may not be possible or desirable for a learner to attend school. Any of the following are valid reasons for the absence of a learner from school:

(a) Physical or psychological illness, for which the principal (or a person delegated by the principal) requires communication from the parent that the learner is unable to attend school, or written confirmation by a registered medical practitioner or traditional healer if the illness lasts longer than three days.
(b) Giving birth, subject to written confirmation by a registered medical practitioner or registered midwife.
(c) Religious or cultural observances approved by the school governing body (SGB) in terms of the National School Calendar Policy.
(d) Death of a family member.
(e) Appointment at court, social services or another official agency, for which the principal (or a person delegated by the principal) may require documentary proof.
(f) Suspension by the SGB.
(g) Acts of nature (that is, events that are beyond human control)
(h) Exceptional circumstances for which, in the view of the principal and SMT, a temporary absence from school.
(i) is in the best interest of the learner or
(ii) was unavoidable.

5.2 Absence without valid reason is unacceptable and will be followed up promptly as set out below.

6. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

6.1 Roles and Responsibilities of the Principal.

6.1.1 If the learner is absent without valid reason for three consecutive school days, the principal (or a person delegated by the principal) must:

(a) inform the parents of the importance of regular attendance.
(b) emphasise the leaner’s duty to attend punctually and regularly in terms of the school’s code of conduct for learners.
(c) if the learner is of compulsory school-going age, inform the parents of the legal implications of section 3 of the SASA.
(d) inform the parents of the risk of the learner’s record in the class register being cancelled due to continuous absence (i.e. expulsion)
(e) request the learner’s return to school.
(f) where necessary, elicit the support of the district office.
(g) where necessary, elicit intervention from government or non-government social development agencies.

6.1.2 If, despite the intervention of the principal, a learner persists in being absent without valid reason, the principal must:

(a) Inform the district office.
(b) In consultation with the SMT, SGB and district office, consider or decide on cancelling the learner’s record in the class register.
(c) Inform the parents about the consideration of or decision to cancel the learner’s record in the class register.
(d) When a learner’s record is cancelled in the class register, the principal must:
I. inform the parents and class teacher in writing of the date of and reason for the cancellation; and
II. if the learner is of compulsory school-going age, inform the district office of the date of and reason for the cancellation.

6.2 Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers.
6.2.1 The Class Teacher’s Roles and Responsibilities.
6.2.1.1 The class teacher is responsible for compiling and marking the class register.
6.2.1.2 The class teacher must inform the principal or line manager when a learner is absent without explanation for three consecutive school days and must draw the principal or line manager’s attention to cases of repeated absence so that the matter may be followed up with the parents in an appropriate manner.

6.3 Roles and Responsibilities of Learners.

6.3.1 A learner has a responsibility to attend school punctually and regularly. The government depends on parents, SGBs, SMTs, teachers and the WCED to play their part in ensuring that learners attend regularly. The example set by parents, SMTs and teachers is of crucial importance in building a culture of punctual and regular attendance.

6.4 Roles and Responsibilities of Parents.

6.4.1 Parents are expected to.

(a) ensure that the learner attends school daily, on time and for the whole school day, unless there is a valid reason for absence.
(b) ensure that the learner is not taken out of school without valid reason (Family holidays are not a valid reason)
(c) inform the class teacher if the learner is absent, expected to be absent or expected to be late for school, giving a valid reason.
(d) co-operate with the school in resolving the problem if the learner is absent from school without valid reason.

ADDRESS

Klipfontein Road, Athlone

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