Attendance and absences


Contact Details

For more information call the student welfare consultant at your local school area office on 131 536, from your residential landline


Attendance and absences

Parents or caregivers of children from Kindergarten through to Year 12 are responsible for ensuring their child attends school every day. This means all children between the ages of six years and below the minimum school leaving age are legally required to attend school.

All students must complete Year 10. After Year 10 and until they turn 17, students must be: 

  • in school, or registered for home schooling, or
  • in approved education or training (eg TAFE, traineeship, apprenticeship) or
  • in full-time, paid employment (average 25 hours/week) or
  • in a combination of work, education and/or training.

Absentee information

When children miss out on school they miss out on vital information, their learning routine is broken, they can lose confidence and they miss out on building up friendships.

If your child has to be absent from school for any reason, including arriving late or leaving early, please either tell your child's teacher or the administrative assistant at the school, or explain the reason by phone, email, SMS or written note as soon as possible, or within seven days.

Once children are enrolled parents are legally required to send them to school every day that the school is open for instruction or participation in school activities, such as sports days. A small number of absences may be justified if your child:

  • has an unavoidable medical or dental appointment (preferably these should be made after school or during holidays)
  • has to go to special religious ceremony
  • is required to attend a serious and/or  urgent family situation (e.g. a funeral)
  • is too sick to go to school, or has an infectious illness.

Failure to explain an absence within this time will be recorded as an unjustified absence on a student's record. Schools will inform parents if a student is absent from school without explanation.

What should I do if our family is going on holiday in school time?

Families should try to arrange holidays during school vacations. If they can only be arranged during school time, you should contact the school principal in advance to discuss the matter.

When to get help

The department has implemented a number of attendance programs to support parents in ensuring their children attend school regularly. If you are having difficulty getting your child to attend school regularly, you might like to talk to the school principal or the school counsellor.

Leave passes

All secondary students who wish to leave school during normal school hours must carry a special leave pass issued by the school. This leave pass helps policy and home school liaison personnel to identify students who are absence from school without good reason.


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