Attendance at School
The Hazard – Truancy (Non- Attendance)
Truancy is the absence from College of a school aged student, without the consent of parents/guardians, during College hours.
Enrolment & Attendance Policies
In line with our legal obligations, Presbyterian Ladies’ College has developed detailed policies and procedures to manage our obligations relating to Enrolment and Attendance of Students. This policy has been developed specifically to outline expectations related to attendance and management of issues relating to non-attendance.
Presbyterian Ladies’ College is committed to the management of regular College attendance and providing a safe and positive learning environment which promotes engagement and participation. It is compulsory for all school- aged students to attend school. Kindergarten children are required to attend on designated days. Additionally, all young people must participate in full-time education, training or employment or a combination of these until:
(i) The end of the year in which the child reaches the age of 17 years and 6 months; or
(ii) The child reaches the age of 18, whichever happens first.
It is our policy that:
- All students be present for the entirety of each term. This includes attendance at the relevant Speech Night. No student has permission to take time out of school at the beginning, during or at the end of a term for recreational purposes;
- External tutoring is not to be undertaken during school hours. Where this is undertaken, our policy is not to provide work or to re-negotiate assessments that are missed as a result of attending tutoring;
- Missed assessments – students who miss an assessment in Year 11 and 12 must provide a Medical Certificate and complete a missed assessment form to justify their absence or they will incur a score of zero (0);
- Requests for leave in extenuating circumstances should be forwarded to the relevant Head of School and Pastoral and Academic Care Co-ordinator;
- Where students are absent due to illness for three consecutive days or more, a medical certificate is required;
- High expectations of attendance will be made known to parents and all students;
- Processes for unexplained student absences are implemented to reduce absenteeism and ensure the safety of students;
- Truancy prevention strategies are developed and implemented with the College community considering the needs of students; and
- Early intervention strategies and family support programs will be provided. College attendance is monitored closely to identify students who are truanting.
Management of Non-Attendance – Immediate
Parents/guardians are required to contact the College by phone or email prior to College commencement time to explain their child’s absence, late arrival or request for early leave.
In Senior School, all teachers are required to take a roll call in every class. Student absences in Junior School are recorded by the class/specialist teacher at the start of the day and after lunch.
The relevant Receptionist reviews absentee notifications to identify any students that are absent where no notification has been received from a parent/guardian.
Where a student is absent without explanation and cannot be located, the Head of School is contacted and the parents/guardians are telephoned and/or texted and/or emailed.
Management of Non-Attendance – Parental Notifications
Where parents repeatedly fail to notify the College of legitimate absences, the College will contact the parents requesting that they comply with the College’s notification procedures.
In cases of serious non-compliance, the College will request that the parents/guardians attend a meeting with the Head of Senior School or the Head of Junior School and other relevant school personnel to discuss any issues and to develop and implement an attendance improvement plan.
All students found to be truanting will be subject to the consequences as outlined in the Responsible Behaviour Policy. Truanting will be viewed as a major issue.
Where absences are recurrent the College will investigate the student’s absences having regard to factors such as the day of the week, the class, subject or year level and particular social group that may affect their attendance.
Parents/guardians will be contacted and invited to meet with the Head of Senior School or the Head of Junior School and other relevant staff to discuss issues which may be related to truancy. Where appropriate, the College will work with the parents/guardians and the student to develop an Attendance Improvement Plan.
The College will request assistance with students who are deemed to be non-school attenders from the regional office in the first instance and then if no success in reengaging the student, notification is sent to the Student Tracking System to obtain the approval of the Student Tracking System Co-ordinator to remove the student from the school enrolment register.
All staff are responsible to ensure that:
- Students are made aware of the importance of regular attendance and notification of absences;
- Accurate records of student attendance are maintained; and
- They raise concerns, relating to the possible truant behaviour, with the student’s Pastoral and Academic Care Co-ordinator in Senior School and with the Head of School in the Junior School.
This policy is implemented through a combination of:
- Staff awareness;
- Development and implementation of a whole college strategy to encourage regular attendance and to reduce truancy;
- Address specific needs of each individual student, according to their reasons for truanting;
- Establishing positive home-College relationships to assist parents/guardians to support their child’s attendance at College];
- Effective incident notification procedures;
- Effective communication procedures;
- Effective record keeping procedures; and
- Initiation of corrective actions where necessary.
Reviewed: June, 2020