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.
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, an email or phone call to the front office (9398 6022). This will then be entered 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. The school requires a medical certificate for absences related to sickness for three days or more. The Principal/teachers may request a medical certificate on each occasion 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.
Staff 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 of year 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 contact the office prior to the day, who will inform the class teacher. 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.
Extended Leave/family holidays
Application for Extended Leave and Certificate of Extended Leave forms are required when a student will be absent from school for more than five (5) days. Travel documents must be attached to these form which can then be emailed to the school or dropped in at the office.
Absences relating to travel will be marked as leave on the roll and therefore contribute to your child’s total absences for the year.