Attendance - Parent Guidelines and School Procedures

Attending school every day enables your child to get the most from their education

Research tells us that children who go to school regularly do better at school. This helps them create more opportunities for their future and leads to better health, social and work outcomes.

Every day your child learns something new at school.  Every day they build on what they already know, growing their knowledge and skills. 

Attendance Requirement

Western Australian law requires all school-aged children go to and attend school every day. It is compulsory until the end of the year in which they reach 17 years and 6 months or they turn 18 years.

There may be times during your child’s education when they are away from school

If your child is unable to attend school, please let the school know as soon as possible by telephone, email, connect, via website or by note on the child’s return to school.

Helping your child

There are a number of things you can do to help your child attend every day and get the most out of school.

Arriving on time

It is extremely important that children arrive to school on time.  This allows them the time to prepare for their lessons and ensures they do not miss any important information shared at the beginning of the day. Children arriving late can also be disruptive to the remainder of the class. 

Be aware

  • Monitor their attendance. Keep an idea on how many days they miss.
  • If they feel physically ill, check to see if anything is going on at school or if they feel anxious, speak to your child’s teacher find out how they are going and how you can support them.
  • Attend parent events and information sessions.

Talk and share

  • Talk about school in a positive way with your child so they want to go.
  • Talk about the benefits of school and value for them.
  • Ask your child how they are going at school and about their friends.
  • Support them to identify solutions to any issues or concerns they may have.
  • Encourage your child to set personal goals related to school each term, and acknowledge their efforts and achievements.

Support routines and organisation

  • Help your child develop the habit of going to school every day.
  • Set a morning routine to help your child be organised and get to school on time.
  • Have other transport options ready in case something unexpected happens.
  • Set regular bedtime and evening routines. This helps your child get enough sleep.
  • They will be well rested and ready to learn the next day. 
  • Limit the use of electronic devices, so they get off to sleep easily.

Appointments and holidays

  • Where possible, make appointments for your child outside of school hours or during school holidays.
  • Take family holidays during school holidays.

After-school activities

  • Encourage extra-curricular activities so they create friendships and pursue their interests.

Seek support if your child is worried about school

  • Contact your child's teacher about any concerns and find out how they can support them.
  • Find out about services available to support their attendance and wellbeing.
  • Get even more tips to help your child get the most out of school.

School Attendance Procedures

In order for schools to comply with Department Policies and Guidelines, attendance is monitored and responded to as below;

  • All student absences are recorded daily– morning and afternoon sessions; 
  • Parents are contacted to verify the reason for the absence, if a student is absent without a reported reason on the third day;  
  • Parents are contacted if students are regularly late;
  • Attendance reports are run each term and letters sent to parents requesting an explanation for unexplained absences; 
  • Parents will be contacted if a student’s attendance drops below 90% without explanation and if required a parent/teacher meeting and/or case conference will be scheduled to identify issues concerning the student’s absence; plan improvement strategies; and include identified attendance improvement strategies in an Individual Adjustment Plan. 
  • If attendance does not improve, and Individual Attendance Plan will be developed, consisting of:  
  1. an attendance intervention record;  
  2. a formal meeting phase if attendance is not successfully restored through actions taken as a result of consultation;
  3. a process to monitor and review engagement with any plan or agreement developed in the formal meeting;
  4. documentation of all intervention strategies used to address a student’s absence, so that, should it become necessary to proceed, it can be clearly established that all  reasonably practicable steps to restore attendance have been taken;
  5. Attendance support accessed through South Metro Regional Office.