· The Education Act 1958 requires that children of school age (six-fifteen years) resident in Victoria are required to be in full-time attendance at a government or registered non-government school unless they are receiving approved home tuition, correspondence education, or have been granted an exemption by the Regional Director.
· To maximise student learning opportunities and performance by ensuring that children required to attend school do so regularly, and without unnecessary or frivolous absences.
· Education is a sequential process. Absences often mean students miss important stages in the development of topics, causing them to find ‘catching up’ difficult.
· Absenteeism contributes significantly to student failure at school.
· All enrolled students are required to attend school unless reasonable and valid grounds exist for them to be absent.
· Illness is reasonable grounds for an absence, shopping excursions or birthday parties are not.
· Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children attend school regularly, and are only absent if ill or if absolutely necessary.
· Parents have a further responsibility to provide a written note or return a completed absence form to the school explaining why an absence has occurred.
· The principal has a responsibility to ensure that attendance records are maintained and monitored at school.
· All student absences are recorded in both the morning and the afternoon by teachers, are aggregated on our CASES21 database and communicated to the DEECD.
· The DEECD and enrolment auditors may seek student attendance records.
· The principal has a further responsibility to ensure that unexplained absences are investigated, and that high levels of absenteeism are adequately explained.
· The principal/welfare officer will contact parents of students with high levels of unexplained or unapproved absences, with the view to developing and implementing strategies to minimise absences.
· Ongoing unexplained absences or lack of cooperation regarding student attendance will result in a formal attendance conference being organised. Unresolved attendance issues may be reported by the principal to the Department of Human Services.
· Student attendance and absence figures will appear on student half year and end of year reports.
· Aggregated student attendance data is reported to the Department of Education, Early Childhood Development and the wider community each year as part of the annual report