Regular attendance at school is essential for students to achieve quality life outcomes. Schools, in partnership with parents, are responsible for promoting the regular attendance of students.

Under the Education ACT (1990) all students between the ages of 6 and 17 must attend school every day unless there is a justified reason (which must be provided to the school within seven days).

At Randwick Public School, playground supervision is provided from 8:30am every day. The school learning time begins at 9:00am and ends at 3:00pm. It is essential that students arrive at school on time so their attendance is registered.

 

Contacting parents

As noted in the NSW Government Procedures, if a student is absent and no explanation has been provided, parents/carers will be contacted on the same day by the office via SMS text message in Sentral Messaging. Teachers may also contact parents/carers via phone or email for a reason.

If there has been no explanation given throughout the week, the teacher will be provided with a notification letter from Sentral to be sent home with the child.

 

Explained vs justified absences

Parents are required to explain absences within a seven day period. This can be done via Skoolbag, a phone call to the front office (9398 6022) or an email to the office and/or class teacher. Whoever receives the notification should enter it into Sentral.

The NSW Education Act requires all absences that have not been explained within seven calendar days are to be permanently recorded as ‘unjustified’.

There are a limited number of reasons which justify an absence from school. In some circumstances, even though a reason has been provided, the absence will still be recorded as ‘unjustified’ because the reason does not count as a valid reason as per the Department of Education policy.

What are valid reasons?

The two most common reasons for student absence are ‘sick’ and ‘leave’.

S- Sick: The student’s absence is due to sickness or as the result of a medical appointment. Principals may request a medical certificate in addition to explanations if the the explanation is doubted or the student has a history of unsatisfactory attendance.

L- Approved leave: The student’s absence is due to an incident such as a serious illness of an immediate family member or attendance at a funeral and the explanation has been accepted by the principal.

A- Unexplained absence: The student’s absence is unexplained or unacceptable which could include going shopping, weather conditions, tired, needed a day off etc.

Teachers will add comment to indicate how absence was noticed (note, email, verbal) and a brief explanation if necessary i.e. L- note: family funeral

NOTE that if the absence remains unexplained, after 7 days it will automatically change in Sentral to ‘A’ to indicate unexplained.

See further details below regarding School Attendance Register Codes and Sentral.

If an absence has been explained, notes should be kept until the end and provided to the office to archive.  As per the Department of Education procedures, retain records of verbal explanations and electronic explanations for two years.

 

Late/early (Partial absences)

Students are expected to be at school, in lines/class by 9:00am each morning. If a student is late to school, they need to sign in at the front office to review a late note. Parents are expected to provide a reason for their child’s lateness. If a valid reason is not provided, the absence will be recorded as ‘unjustified’.

If a student needs to leave early (eg. for a doctors appointment), please inform the class teacher prior to the day. A parent/carer will need to go to the office, where they will be provided with an ‘early note’ to give to the teacher on pick up.

If a student is unwell and the first aid officers feel it is in your child’s best interest to go home, they will contact you. Students are not to use their mobile phones to organise being picked up during school hours.

 

Family holidays

Families are encouraged to travel during the NSW school holidays. If travel outside of NSW school holidays periods is necessary, the family must apply to the principal for approval beforehand. If the family does not apply for leave, or it is not approved, the absences from school will be unjustified.

Teachers are not required to provide work for students complete on holidays, however we recommend daily reading, keeping a diary of the holidays. Technology is an easy and effective way. Try having your child create a digital diary of their trip- voice recordings, pictures, videos & writing.  Their online subscriptions such as Maths Seeds or Matific and Reading eggs will continue to be accessible if appropriate.

 

Attendance concerns

If there is a pattern of absences identified eg. one day every week or more than one day in a week as a pattern, or if attedance percerntages fall below 90% for a student within a term, the Stage Leader/AP is to be alerted for further follow up.

Just a little bit late does seem much, but…

He/She is only missing just…

that equals…

which is…

and over 13 years of schooling, that is…

10 minutes per day 50 minutes per week Nearly 1½ weeks per year Nearly ½ a year
20 minutes per day 1 hour 40 minutes per week Over 2½ weeks per year Nearly 1 year
½ an hour per day ½ a day per week 4 weeks per year Nearly 1½ years
1 hour per day 1 day per week 8 weeks per year Over 2½ years

 

1 or 2 days a week doesn’t seem much, but…

He/She is only missing just…

that equals…

which is…

and over 13 years of schooling, that is…

1 day per fortnight 20 days per year 4 weeks per year Nearly 1½ years
1 day per week 40 days per year 8 weeks per year Over 2½ years
2 days per week 80 days per year 16 weeks per year Over 5 years
3 days per week 120 days per year 24 weeks per year Nearly 8 years

Supporting Student Health

A signed Request for Support at School of a Student’s Health Condition is required if medication is to be taken at school. Medication will then be administered by a designated staff member. It is preferred that Asthma sufferers have spare relieving medication kept at the office. An emergency asthma kit is kept in the First Aid Room/Sick Bay, and separate first aid kits are taken on excursions and to sporting events.

Students who become sick or are injured at school attend the Sick Bay located in the front administration office where they are assessed by staff with first aid qualifications. If a student is seriously ill or has sustained an injury of concern, the school will contact parents.

All staff are trained regularly in the management and treatment of Anaphylaxis in accordance with ASCIA and DEC Health policies.

It is encouraged that students do not bring nuts or nut spread to school due to the large number of students who are anaphylactic.

A current contact telephone number for all parents and an emergency contact must be available.

If parents cannot be contacted and the injury or sickness is sufficiently serious, an ambulance will be called. The school contributes to the Ambulance Fund for this purpose.

CareMonkey

Students’ medical details are documented within their individual CareMonkey profiles by parents. Details should be updated throughout the school year as required, so teachers can access up-to-date information about each child.

CareMonkey Link

Too sick for school?

Information on infectious diseases

NSW Health