SORELL SCHOOL
                                                           
ATTENDANCE POLICY
Rationale
School attendance is compulsory for all students in Tasmania between the ages of 5 and the end of the year in which the student turns sixteen.  It is the responsibility of both schools and parents to ensure that students enrolled in schools attend regularly.  We know that students who attend regularly are more likely to be successful and safe at school.  We will promote full school attendance and encourage, through positive recognition on a regular basis, those students with excellent attendance or who have shown significant improvement. 
 
A recent DoE article (A strategic approach to improve student attendance in National Partnership schools, August 2012) outlines common strands running through the most successful programs and strategies to improve attendance (p.2), such as:
·                     Connectedness between students, parents the school and the community
·                     Increasing the trust placed in students
·                     Providing tasks with immediate, tangible benefits
·                     Developing spaces within schools and curricula for diverse student needs
·                     Addressing poor achievement
·                     Addressing individual students’ practical obstacles to staying at school
 
Goals
·                     Students will attend school for the full time that instruction is provided.
·                     Attendance policy and procedures will assist in identifying students at risk so that appropriate intervention strategies are implemented.
·                     Students will positively engage in the learning process to maximise opportunity.
·                     Teachers are able to make an effective contribution to student learning through high and full attendance rates.
·                     Students develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes to make a valuable contribution to society.
·                     Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children attend on a regular basis and that they contact the school appropriately when attendance is not possible through illness or other unavoidable situations.
Procedures
The following procedures are mandated by the Department of Education (staff.education.tas.gov.au/schooladmin/nonattendance/school )
 
·                     Level 1 -  any unexplained/unauthorised absence
o        Text message sent automatically to parent/guardian at 10.30 each day.  Responses recorded by Admin Officer in student’s Edupoint absence file
 
·                     Level 2  -  3 days of unexplained/unauthorised absence
o        Phone contact to be made by Class (primary)/Home Group (secondary) teacher
o        Documentation of phone contact in behaviour management database
o        If phone contact unable to be achieved, Class/Home Group teacher refers student to Assistant Principal (primary)/Grade Co-ordinator (secondary)
 
 
 
·                     Level 3  -  5 days of unexplained/unauthorised absence
o        Class/Home Group teacher refers absence to Assistant Principal/Grade Co-ordinator in writing/by email and documents the referral in the behaviour database
o        Letter to parent/guardian sent
§     On school letterhead
§     Include confirmation of prior phone contact/attempt at contact
§     Make reference to parent/guardian responsibilities as prescribed under the Act (copy of letter available in Sharepoint, shared documents, attendance policy and procedures)
§     Signed by Assistant Principal/Grade Co-ordinator
§     Assistant Principal/Grade Co-ordinator to monitor student’s attendance with support of Class/Home Group teacher
 
 
·                     Level 4  -  10 days unexplained/unauthorised absence
o        Grade Co-ordinator reports continuing absences to Assistant Principal on secondary campus
o        Referred to Principal and second letter sent from Principal requesting a meeting, summarising prior intervention and attaching printout of student absences (available on Sharepoint)
o        Assistant Principal (primary/secondary) also notifies Social Worker and organises meeting with parent and Social Worker to develop an attendance plan (may involve part time timetable or other outside programs)
o        Copy of plan from meeting placed on student file
 
·                     Ongoing absences
o        Level 5 letter sent after 15 days absence
o        Principal requests medical certificates
o        Second meeting scheduled with parent/guardian
o        School Social Worker makes contact with parent/guardian and sends letter outlining role and statutory responsibility
o        Case conference held
o        Level 7 – letter summarising all interventions sent by registered post to parent/guardian
o        Level 8 – letter sent to LS General Manager for consideration in relation to prosecution for non-attendance
 
Responsibilities of Office Admin
·                     Place information about absence on student file
·                     Email Class/Home Group teacher when advised by parent\guardian about a student’s absence
·                     Enter late student registrations into Edupoint and provide students with a slip which the student must give to their Home Group/Class teacher on entering the classroom
·                     Ensure that information about students signing out early from school is accurately recorded in Edupoint
·                     Enter information about long term absences and advise the Class/Home Group teacher (email)
·                     Monitor the attendance register and advise the Principal when letters remain unanswered
 
Responsibility of Class (primary) and Home Group (secondary) teacher
·                     Monitor student attendance and frequently remind students of the need to bring a note when returning from absence or when leaving school to attend an appointment
·                     Record absence information accurately every lesson in the electronic roll, using the correct codes (see attachment).  Please note that the first marking of the roll in Home Group must be done electronically as the text messaging system operates automatically from Edupoint
·                     Forward absence notes to office
·                     Phone parent/guardian after 3 days of unexplained/unauthorised absence and follow up regularly if absence continues
·                     Inform Assistant Principal/Grade Co-ordinator of ongoing absences for a student
·                     Be alert to any other patterns of non-attendance (e.g absent every Monday) and follow up
 
 
Responsibility of Assistant Principal/Grade Co-ordinator
·                     Frequently remind students that regular attendance supports their learning at school
·                     Organise letters (to be signed by the Principal) for absences of 5 days
·                     Liaise with relevant person around continuing or pattern student absence
·                     Monitor student attendance when notified that it is an issue
·                     Attend meetings scheduled to discuss student attendance issues
 
Responsibility of Principal
·                     Frequently remind students that regular attendance supports their learning at school
·                     Ensure that all relevant information about student attendance is kept on file
·                     Organise meetings with parents/guardians regarding ongoing non-attendance
·                     Liaise with School Social Worker regarding ongoing non-attendance
 
Responsibility of Social Worker
·                     Follow up on absences at request of the Principal or referrals through fortnightly support meetings
·                     Contact parents and arrange home visits with Assistant Principal, Grade Co-ordinator as appropriate
·                     Support Principal in follow up of extended absences
·                     Work with staff to put procedures in place to support students who are non-attenders
 
 
Responsibility of Student
·                     Attend regularly and arrive at school punctually
·                     Provide a note for an unexplained absence
 
Responsibility of Parent/guardian
·                     Ensure their child attends school every day that school is open
·                     Promptly provide explanatory notes when their child is absent from school.
·                     To work with the school developing measures to resolve attendance issues involving their children