When learners are absent from school, the following procedure must be followed:
- A learner who is absent from school for between one and three days, must return to school with a letter of explanation from a parent or a doctor’s certificate, explaining their absence.
- If after three days, a learner is still absent and the school has not been informed of their absence, the educator has to make telephonic contact with the parent to enquire about the learner’s absence from school. A note of this phone call must be made in the learner’s profile.
- Should a learner be absent for any length of time without a legitimate reason, the parent must be informed that they are to accompany the learner on their return to school. The educator together with the HOD, are to discuss the learner’s absence and parent responsibility. This meeting is minuted and filed in the profile.
- Should there be no positive response to the above step, or a learner is regularly absent from school and a pattern is determined, the office must be informed. A meeting is then set up with the principal and the educator to discuss the learner’s absence. This meeting is minuted.
- If after all of the above steps, there is no improvement, a formal letter is sent to the parent listing the days absent, the SA Schools Act, regulations and the steps that will follow should attendance not improve. These documents are filed.
- Continued absence after the above step will result in the social worker being informed about the situation for further intervention.
We have to follow this protocol so that all internal avenues are exhausted before external intervention is introduced.