As a school we are both highly sympathetic to and very understanding of legitimate illness among our students.
The research below indicates that good attendance habits established in the early years of schooling translate to successful learning, beginning with Kindy.
“Student Attendance and Educational Outcomes; Every Day Counts” was prepared for the Department of Education by the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, UWA in May 2013.
The report was based on the attendance patterns of some 415 000 Government school students in WA. It tables some interesting points.
1. Disparities in attendance rates are evident from early schooling.
The data indicates that attendance rates diminish further in secondary school. It is critical that good attendance patterns are established in the early years, particularly kindy. If good attendance is not established early, then the child’s high school attendance will be further reduced.
2. In all analyses, average academic achievement on NAPLAN tests declined as absence rates increased.
This was evident across all sub groups ie nationality, gender, transience, socio-economic status etc. Every day of attendance contributes positively toward a child’s learning. Absence from school was related to poor academic achievement, not only in the current year but in future years as well. Gaps in student learning from one poor year of attendance have a flow on effect in future years.
3. Educators cannot improve attendance alone.
The community needs to be included. The community needs to recognise the importance of education. Achieving this can be done by students only being absent for valid illness. Absences for birthdays, holidays in term time, appointments that could be done out of hours, for a day of rest after a busy weekend are not valid reasons for non-attendance at school.
What the laws says
Under Western Australian law (School Education Act 1999), parents must send their child to school unless:
- They are unwell
- They have an infectious disease
- The principal is provided with a genuine and acceptable reason.
You must let the school know within 3 days why your child is not attending school.
What to do if your child is unwell
- At Quinns Beach we prefer a SMS with child’s name, class and reason for absence to 0437 410 892 or a phone call to the front office 9561 7400.
- From there, we notify the class teacher that your child is away and why.
- If you are unable to call in the morning, other methods of communication are: email, note, verbal discussion with class teacher.
- A student’s absence must be explained by the parent or caregiver only, not the student.
- Please ensure your details are updated at the front office so that we can contact you about unexplained absences.
If your child’s absence is not explained, the following procedure is followed.
- Twice a term, letters are mailed home asking for an explanation of the absence.
- Contact is made by administration if the absence is still unexplained.
If there are 3 days of unexplained absences, contact will be made by the classroom teacher/administration asking for an explanation of the absences.
- The school will meet with you to discuss any on-going issues and prepare an attendance plan.
- If there are still ongoing attendance issues, your case will be referred to district office.
- A school Attendance Panel will be set up to review your child’s attendance.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What should I do if my child is unwell?
A: Inform the school, preferably first thing in the morning.
Q: What should I do if my child refuses to go to school?
A: Contact the school as soon as possible and the school will arrange support and advice.
Q: What should I do if I am taking a vacation during school time?
A: Inform the school of the vacation, however, you should try to take holidays during school holiday periods.
Q: If I receive a letter in the mail with the date of an unexplained absence what should I do?
A: Provide an explanation of the absence and return the letter to the front office or teacher.
Please support your child by advising the school of non-attendance and by ensuring that your child attends regularly. If there are any issues that impact upon your child’s attendance please contact the school so that we are able to support you.