Creaney Primary School’s attendance plan is closely aligned to the Department of Education’s Better Attendance: Brighter Futures Strategy.
We recognise that students need to attend school on a regular basis to gain the maximum benefit from schooling and optimise their life opportunities. We understand that for maximum transfer of knowledge, 95% attendance is necessary. Attendance rates lower than 95% could impact on academic standards.
There is an expectation that once enrolled, students will attend on a regular basis, and positive attendance patterns should be fostered. It is our focus to provide positive support for students to maximise their attendance.
Staff at the school will ensure that accurate attendance records are kept for each student enrolled at the school. The following codes are used electronically on the School Information System:
|U||Absent – Cause Not Established|
|R||Reasonable Cause – Appointment|
|E||Educational Activity – Speech, Occupational Therapy, PEAC|
|L||Late – Student arriving after 8:40am|
|N||Notified as sick – Parent/Carer has notified of sickness|
Students who miss two full hours or more of school will to be recorded as a half day’s absence. Students who arrive late but within two hours are recorded as late and not included as a half-day absence.
Students will be recorded as late if they arrive at school after 8:40am and will need to proceed to the office to request a Late Note.
Students on an excursion, participating in an off-campus program or school-approved activity will not be counted as absent.
Attendance records will be kept in electronic form for a period of seven years. If the absentee note is included on a student’s record file, then the note must be kept for 25 years from date of birth. Unsatisfactory attendance reports on students must be retained in a student’s record for 25 years from date of birth.
Role of the Teacher
- The attendance roll on SIS is to be completed at 8:40am
- Children arriving after the roll are sent to the office for a Late Note (the absence will be overridden by office staff with ‘L’ for Late and a reason recorded)
- On the third consecutive day of absences the class teacher is required to phone the parent/caregiver to check on the student and report attendance concerns to Administration
When a student has been absent from school and an acceptable explanation has not been forthcoming, the school will send a written request for an explanation to the student’s family to establish the reasons for non-attendance.
As there is no requirement in the School Education Act 1999 for the reason to be provided in writing, schools must record all details when a parent or caregiver provides the school with a verbal reason, either in person or over the telephone, that the school believes is an acceptable reason in the context of the school.
If a student’s attendance rate falls below 80% over a ten-week period, Creaney Primary School will further investigate the reasons why the student is not attending school.
The school will use a case management approach for attendance issues, resulting in an Attendance Plan being written to assist improvement.
The school will consult with all stakeholders, and access support from other community groups and agencies if required.
The school will keep detailed records of all contact, or attempts to make contact, with the student’s family and the intervention strategies implemented to restore a student’s attendance. This documentation will be made available to the school attendance officer and/or the School Attendance Panel.
Referrals to School Attendance Officer
When a student is identified as being a regular or chronic non-attendee, and the intervention strategies implemented have not been successful in restoring the student’s attendance, the student is to be referred to the School Attendance Officer at District Office.
The referral form will be completed and forwarded to the school attendance officer along with all documentation demonstrating reasonable and repeated efforts to restore the student’s attendance.
The school will work collaboratively with the School Attendance Officer, the student’s family and other community groups and agencies to restore the student’s attendance.
Children Whose Whereabouts are Unknown
If all attempts to locate a student have failed after fifteen consecutive school days and the school has not received advice that the student has enrolled at another school, a referral to the “Children Whose Whereabouts are Unknown List” through the school attendance officer will be made. The Principal will regularly review the Children Whose Whereabouts are Unknown list and advise the school attendance officer if a child has enrolled at the school.
Referrals to School Attendance Panel
If the student’s attendance at school has not been successfully restored, a referral to the School Attendance Panel will be made. The School Attendance Panel will fully consider the issues that contribute to the student’s non-attendance at school, and establish strategies to ensure the re-engagement of the student in an appropriate educational setting. The school Principal is to implement the relevant strategies established by the School Attendance Panel and monitor the subsequent attendance of the student.
Strategies Used to Enhance Attendance at Creaney Primary School
In accordance with the Better Schools: Brighter Futures Policy, schools are responsible for promoting to parents the importance of their children not missing school and providing safe and welcoming learning environments. The following strategies will be implemented to enhance attendance:
- Teachers will provide a stimulating, motivating curriculum that engages all students in the learning program
- Administration will set targets through DoE processes for cohorts identified by the previous year’s data
- Positive recognition will be given for improved or good attendance at assemblies and newsletters
- Students with 95% or above attendance will receive a certificate of attendance at the end of each semester
- Telephone calls or a note home from class teacher will be made after three days of unexplained absences
- Absence letters will be sent to parents/caregivers weekly by class teacher asking for an explanation of unexplained absence
- Notification letters will be sent home for indicated, moderate and severe at-risk attendees that highlight the child’s attendance compared to Creaney Primary School’s expectation of 95%
- The school will notify the community about attendance issues in regular newsletter updates
- A case management approach with school psychologist intervention will be used to provide additional support for individual students with attendance issues