Compulsory School Attendance
In New South Wales, ‘compulsory school age’ means that all children from six years of age are legally required to be enrolled at and attending school until they turn seventeen.
After students complete Year 10, and until they turn 17 years of age, students have the following options:
1) Continue full-time study at school
2) Full-time further education and training (eg. TAFE, traineeship, apprenticeship)
3) Full-time, paid employment of a minimum 25 hours per week
4) A combination of 2) and 3) providing employment and education equates to 25 hours or more per week.
Students with numerous unjustified absences may not be eligible to receive the RoSA or HSC credentials. Poor attendance may lead to referral to our Home School Liaison Officer (HSLO) and reporting to the Child Wellbeing Unit for educational neglect. In extreme situations, families can be taken to court to address attendance concerns.
Students feeling sick are encouraged to talk to their classroom teacher first who will send the student to sick bay if necessary.
Our sick bay attendants will talk to your child and if they feel it is in your child’s best interest to go home, they will contact you to discuss the matter.
As mobile phones are banned during class times, students are not to use their mobile phones to organise being picked up during class time. Parents are required to have this conversation with the office staff directly.
We appreciate your assistance in ensuring that our students are responsible digital citizens.
Students are expected to be at school by 9:00am each morning in time for roll call.
Should a student arrive at school between 9:00am-9:10am they need to attend roll call/assembly and inform their teacher of their arrival. If students arrive at school from 9:10am onwards they need to sign in at the front office to receive a late note. Students are expected to provide a reason for their lateness—with a note from home.
If they do not have a valid reason, their absence will be recorded as ‘unjustified’.
If a student needs to leave early (eg at 1:30pm for a doctors appointment), they need to bring a note from home and take it to the front office in the morning. They will be provided with a leave card which they then show their teacher.
Students who do not sign out properly will have their leave recorded as ‘unjustified’.
Should your child be absent from school, please contact the front office on (02) 6297-2088 to inform us of the reason for their absence. Alternatively, send a note with your child on their return to school.
Should you have any concerns regarding your child’s attendance please call the school office and ask to speak to your child’s Student Advisor or the relevant Deputy Principal:
Years 7, 9, 11: Ms Alyssa Coursey
Years 8, 10, 12: Mr Dean Leite
If you would like to organise access to the parent portal on Sentral so you can monitor your child’s attendance please ask to speak to the relevant Deputy Principal. You will be issued a letter with instructions enabling access. Additional support can be provided by the school should parents experience difficulties.
Explained vs Justified absences
The NSW Education Act requires all absences that have not been explained within SEVEN calendar days to be permanently recorded as ‘unjustified’. This will affect a student’s attendance figures on their Semester school report.
Parents are required to explain each absence within a seven day period. This can be done either via a note or phone call.
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 Department of Education policy.
What are valid reasons?
The two most common reasons for student absence are ‘sick’ and ‘leave’ as explained below
The students absence is due to sickness or as the result of a medical or paramedical appointment. In these cases:
· A medical certificate is provided or
· The absence was due to sickness and the principal accepts the explanation
Principals may request a medical certificate in addition to explanations if the explanation is doubted, or the student has a history of unsatisfactory attendance
An explanation of the absence is provided which has been accepted by the principal. This may be due to:
· Serious illness of an immediate family member
· Attendance at funerals
· Misadventure or an unforeseen event
The table below lists common reasons which would be categorised as ‘explained but unjustified’.
Families are encouraged to holiday or travel during school vacations. If travel outside of school vacation periods is necessary, the family must apply to the principal for approval beforehand. In these instances, if approved, the principal will provide the family with a Certificate of Extended Leave—Holiday.
If the family does not apply for leave, or it is not approved, the absences from school will be unjustified.
Queanbeyan High School offers students numerous extra-curricular activities throughout the school year. These include representing the school in sporting teams, school excursions, reward activities and student leadership opportunities.
We believe these activities provide valuable life-learning but the core of our business remains educating your children. Students who are not regularly attending school are putting their participation in these activities at risk.
We expect that students who do represent our school in extra-curricular activities will demonstrate responsibility and ensure they catch up any work missed on the day.
Should students fail to satisfactorily remain up to date with their work, they may not be eligible to attend future extra-curricular opportunities.