Letters Extra: Making it mean something

15th November 2002 at 00:00

As an ex-Education Welfare Officer and a researcher into the work of the Education Welfare Service in relation to absence from school, I was delighted to find a section (albeit small) of 'First Appointments' devoted to advice on dealing with registration.

It was quite right that this should mention practicalities such as locating the registers and ensuring pupils follow approved procedures for entering rooms - these are factors new teachers do need to consider.

But a vital issue was completely overlooked. Marking the register is not simply a case of learning the codes to be used. Simply accepting any explanation offered by pupil or parent is insufficient.

Knowing where to store absence notes is not enough. 'Being realistic about registration' involves knowing where to draw the line between merely completing the task (i.e. keeping the register tidy by entering an absence code) and ensuring that potential problems are noted and addressed as quickly as possible.

So congratulations on raising the issue - but please follow the topic through in more detail so that teachers (new and experienced) can work from a sound knowledge base and make registration a worthwhile process!

Chris Waddington
Mulberry Way

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