Extra days off between changing schools
Moving between schools can be an opportune time for a “little break” from school but getting students quickly to their new school is very important so that learning is not missed and new routines and friendships are established quickly.  Regardless of how many schools are attended, student data is tracked by the Department of Education every day and these absences remain on student records until they leave in Year 12. Make the move quickly to benefit your children!

Good attendance habits start early! Disparities in attendance rates are evident from the early years. They become wider in secondary school. It is critical that good attendance patterns are established in the early years, the data says that if good attendance is not established early, then the child’s high school attendance will be far worse.

Missing school means missing out! Regular attendance builds lots of other skills, not just learning. Schools help children to develop important social skills, such as friendship building,teamwork, communication skills and a healthy self-esteem.  It also helps them to participate positively in regular school events that promote strong community spirit.

What if my child refuses to go to school? The school can offer a range of support options:

•           teacher working with the student in a supportive, counselling role

•           school student welfare co-ordinator working with the student

•           provide a mentor for your child

•           home visits to identify the problem and help

•           work it through with parents

•           identify reasons why your child doesn’t want to go to school

•           strategies to help you encourage your child to go to school

•           develop an incentive program to encourage your child to attend school

•           link with community agencies.

Must I send my child to school every day? Yes, unless:

•           your child is too sick or injured to go to school

•           your child has an infectious disease

•           the principal is provided with any other genuine and acceptable reason for absence.

Make sure you:

•           provide the school with an explanation if your child is away.

•           Ring or sms the office on the day.

•           Provide evidence to explain their absence e.g. doctor’s certificate.                 

Regular attendance affects learning outcomes: every day counts! Don’t put your child at risk by poor attendance.  Research data shows that even one day a week makes a significant difference.

Strategies to get to school on time every day! Every now and then, we have chaotic mornings but having a regular routine assists and improves student attendance, Here are some suggestions which are based on setting regular routines:

•           Have a set time to be out of bed

•           Have a set time to go to bed

•           Have uniform and school bag ready the night before

•           Make lunches the night before

•           Have a set time for starting/ending breakfast

•           Set a daily time for homework activities

•           Be firm, children must attend school

•           Provide lots of positive encouragement

•           Be firm, a birthday is not a holiday

•           Turn the TV on only for a set time, and if appropriate

•           Time arrival at school to coincide with bell time and leave quickly.

Birthdays and attendance: The best gift is a bright future! It is tempting to spoil our children with extra special attention on their birthday, but staying away from school for the day is not a gift.  Arrange all the fun for after school hours or the closest weekend to the date or ask teacher for a small acknowledgement of their special day.  In the eighteen years that children are at school, birthday absences alone would tally to over two weeks. 

Communities benefit when children attend school If children don’t attend, they are at a higher risk of:

•           Dropping out of school early

•           Becoming long term unemployed

•           Becoming caught in a poverty trap

•           Becoming welfare dependent

•           Being involved in the justice system

•           Being socially isolated

•           Having gaps in their knowledge and understanding

•           Being harmed during time of absence

•           Being more likely to be involved in illegal activities

•           Feeling insecure about school          

Don’t let problems at school be a reason to stay home.

•           Work with the school if your child becomes reluctant to attend, in order to resolve the issue before it gets unmanageable.

•           Let your child know that you don’t approve of them missing school.

•           Seek advice from the school on how you can support my child to improve if they are under achieving.

•           Help to develop resilience in your child by not allowing them to stay at home to avoid an issue at school. You can be firm in your expectations.

•           Ensure that your child arrives on time and that they aren’t disorganised, flustered etc, or miss early literacy support time.

•           Take an interest in your child’s schoolwork and get as involved in the school as you can. If you value it, your child will be more likely to.     

So what are acceptable reasons for being off school? Use this simple checklist as a guide for deciding if an absence is essential:

Acceptable Reasons                          

Illness     

Essential appointments                        

Injury

Infectious disease                                 

Bereavement

Principal approved absence                 

Unacceptable Reasons

Birthdays

Holidays during term time (unless prior approval granted)

Visiting relatives

Out of school sports

Helping parents at home

Feeling a bit tired from other events     

Appointments that could have been made after hours

Changing schools: Extra days off between changing schools

Moving between schools can be an opportune time for a “little break” from school but getting students quickly to their new school is very important so that learning is not missed and new routines and friendships are established quickly.  Regardless of how many schools are attended, student data is tracked by the Department of Education every day and these absences remain on student records until they leave in Year 12.  Make the move quickly to benefit your children!                                   

NAPLAN test results reflect absences

In all analyses, average academic achievement on NAPLAN tests declined as absence rates increased. This was evident across all sub groups i.e. 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.

          

Did you know?
• Missing half a day of school each week equates to one month of missed learning each year.
• The attendance habits set by children when they first start school continue throughout their school life.
• If children miss half a day of school each week between Pre Primary and Year 10, they would miss almost one full year of learning.
• Learning is cumulative – if children miss a day, it is harder for them to catch up.
You can help by:
• Arriving and collecting your children on time.
• Making sure they eat nutritious meals and enough sleep.
• Making appointments with doctors, dentists and specialists outside school hours.
• Making holiday plans during school holidays and not during the school term.