School Attendance

Why attendance at school is so important

School is better when you’re here; when you miss school, you miss out. Students develop good habits by going to school every day and being on time every day – habits that are necessary to succeed beyond school, whether in the workplace or in further study. As well as academic development, attending school every day helps your child develop crucial social and emotional skills such as good communication, resilience and the ability to work in teams.

Children and young people who regularly attend school and complete Year 12 have better health outcomes, better employment outcomes, and higher incomes across their lives.

There is no safe number of days for missing school – each day a student misses puts them behind, affecting their educational outcomes. Research confirms there is a strong link between poor attendance and adverse student outcomes like early school leaving, poverty, drug and alcohol use, unemployment, criminal activity, and poorer health and life expectancy.

A child missing one day a fortnight will miss four weeks in a year, and more than a year of school by Year 10.

For some parents, 90% attendance may seem like an acceptable level of attendance, but the reality is that 90% attendance means your child will miss half a school day each week, or 19 days of school a year; that’s nearly 4 weeks of school. If your child is regularly late to school, this not only adds up to many days of lost learning, but interrupts the teacher, and the whole class of learners, as they enter the room late and need help to get started. Unless you are so sick you can’t get out of bed or there is an event like a funeral, you should be at school, on time. There are no other reasons to be away from school.

What the law says

It is your responsibility to ensure your child attends school every day. In accordance with the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, schooling is compulsory for children and young people aged from 6 – 17 years.

Parents/guardians must ensure the child attends school at all times when the school is open for instruction. Parents and guardians need to notify the school within three days of a student absence. Family holidays, medical and health appointments should be made either before or after school or during the school holidays.

Learn about your responsibilities and what you can do to help your child’s attendance at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/ participation/Pages/attendance.aspx