The Education Act 1990 sets out government expectations and laws related to student attendance. It is the duty of the State Government to ensure that every child receives an education of the highest quality and it is the duty of parents to comply with the requirements of the Education Act. Parents and carers have the responsibility to:
- ensure their child attends school regularly
- explain the absences of their child promptly
- take measures to resolve attendance issues involving their children
Resolution of attendance difficulties may involve the following -
- meetings with the student and parents
- reviewing the appropriateness of the student's education program
- development of a school based attendance improvement plan
- referral to the school counsellor or outside agency
- support from school based personnel
Parents are encouraged to take holidays in school holiday breaks, however, if a parent makes a decision to take a student out of school for a holiday the following applies:
- for less than 10 days the parent is required to seek permission from the Principal (in writing) - If the leave is approved then the time away from school will be marked as leave and appear as explained absence on the student's report. Please note that leave will not be approved during official examination blocks as this is not in the best interests of the student's education
- for more than 10 days the parent is required to complete the Application for Extended Leave - Travel
As assessment calendars are published at the commencement of each academic year, parents should check these before booking holidays as it is highly likely that the student will be required to complete tasks scheduled during the leave time prior to commencing leave. For this reason it is expected that parents will provide at least two weeks notice of the anticipated leave.
Part 2, 4 (b) of the Education Act 1990 states that the education of a child is primarily the responsibility of the child's parents - it should not therefore be an expectation if a parent takes a child out of school for a holiday that the school provide work for the student during the time of the extended leave.
Please note that an exemption from attendance cannot be granted for family holidays.
Exemption - Elite Sport
Parents of students participating in Elite Sport Competitions or Programs (State or National Level) can apply for an Exemption - this means that the absence will not be counted on the child's report. Exemption Form B1 must be completed and submitted to the school prior to the leave.