NSW Attendance rules, NSW Australia School Attendance rules
Marking attendance is a necessary daily task in all schools. Whether teachers are performing it manually, an automatic key card system is installed, or students are learning to mark themselves present via other interactive means, attendance must be marked, recorded, verified and stored. Non-attendance must be approved and explained, and any unexplained absences recorded as such.
Encouraging regular attendance is central to effective schooling and is a core school responsibility. Children that have regular non-attendance at school may not gain the skills required to live autonomously and successfully.
In NSW Section 22 of the Education Act (1990) requires principals to maintain an attendance register or roll. Attendance registers may be inspected at any time during school hours by an authorised person.
If a child is absent a parent or guardian must contact the school, by their chosen means, promptly, and within seven days, to provide an explanation. If a guardian does not make contact within seven days of the first day of absence it will be recorded as unexplained.
- must provide clear information to students and parents regarding attendance requirements and the consequences of unsatisfactory attendance.
- must ensure the school has effective measures in place to monitor and follow up student absences.
- or their delegate will undertake all reasonable measures to contact parents promptly and within two school days of an absence being unexplained, if contact has not already been made. An absence is unexplained if parents have failed to provide an explanation to the school within 7 days.
- are responsible for ensuring that attendance records are maintained in an approved format and are an accurate record of the attendance of students.
Monitoring and review
- Schools, with support from attendance officers (home school liaison officers and Aboriginal student liaison officers), monitor the regular attendance of students and develop and implement strategies to support students with identified attendance issues.
Ensuring parents and schools work together to promote regular attendance of students is essential to maximise student potential. One of the main difficulties here can be engaging parents in communications. Receiving absence explanations in a timely manner can be challenging for attendance officers. Putting systems into place to enable this will assist schools to facilitate this partnership.