STUDENT ATTENDANCE PROCEDURES

Maarif Schools of Australia promotes regular and consistent attendance in order to achieve optimal outcomes for all students.

 

The School will adhere to the ACARA National Standards for Student Attendance Data Reporting and monitor the daily attendance and absence of students by marking the rolls electronically. In the Primary School, it will be completed every morning.  A sign-in/out book will be maintained in the admin office.  The daily register of attendees and absentees will be maintained through the use of the School’s Administration database if available. [Roll books may be required if a database system is not available.] Instruction on the use and access of the database to monitor attendance will be made available to staff [or instruction about entering records into the Roll book will occur].

 

The register of daily attendance includes the following information about each student:

 

  • daily attendance (recorded by noting daily absences)

  • absences

  • reason for absence

  • documentation to substantiate the reason for the absence

 

It is recognised that on occasion students may be absent from the School. When this occurs, parents will be required to contact the School in advance of the leave, or immediately following the leave, using the procedures outlined below.

 

Leave:

According to ACARA National Standards for student attendance, parents are required to complete an

Application for Leave Form for holidays within the school term or other leave. This leave form will be made available to parents via the School Administration or a copy of the Leave Form will be provided in the Parent Handbook.

 

The Deputy Principal approves this leave as appropriate.

 

Holidays:

Holidays taken by students outside of School vacation periods are included as absences.

 

Families are encouraged to holiday or travel during School vacations rather than in term time. If travel during the School term is necessary the following considerations apply:

 

  • If the Deputy Principal accepts the reason for the absence, the absence will be marked as ‘L’.

  • If the Deputy Principal does not believe the absence is in the student’s best interests and does not accept the reason, the absence is unjustified and will be recorded as ‘A’.

  • If the period of absence is in excess of 50 days, the student may be eligible to enrol in Distance Education or pre-arranged work may be provided by the school.

 

Other Forms of Leave:

Students participating in programs and assessments such as: 

  • Trial or HSC exams or VET courses have approved leave recorded as ‘F’.

  • Student exchange leave is recorded as ‘B’ (this code allows for some additional flexibility around its use).

  • When a student is enrolled in a school and is required or approved to attend an alternative educational setting on a sessional or full-time basis the ‘H’ code is used.

  • If no explanation has been provided by parents within seven days of the occurrence of an absence or the explanation is not accepted by the Principal the ‘A’ code is used. It is at the Deputy Principal’s discretion to accept or reject the explanation provided.

  • If a student’s absence is due to sickness the ‘S’ code is used. The Principal may request a medical certificate in addition to an explanation if the explanation is doubted or the student has a history of unsatisfactory attendance.

For further information regarding the codes used to record all leave occurrences, refer to Appendix 1

 

Record keeping:

The register of enrolments must be retained for a minimum period of five (5) years before archiving. The register of daily attendances must be retained for a period of seven (7) years after the last entry was made.

 

Procedures:

  • Rolls will be marked at the start of the day in Primary Classes.

  • Students who arrive after 8.50am report to the School Administration. The office will staff stamp the student’s diary on the relevant day and record the lateness into the School’s Administration database. For younger primary school students who do not use a Diary, the office staff will stamp their hand instead. All students will be required to sign in and bring a note from home unless the lateness is due to the late School bus.

  • Students who depart from the School before the end of the school day will be required to sign out and provide a written note of explanation to be handed to Administration staff on departure. 

  • Students in sickbay at the change of period will have their location recorded in the School’s Administration database by Deputy Principal. All students admitted into sickbay will be recorded in a register.

  • Student absences or variations from every class will be identified and recorded in the School’s Administration database in a consistent manner by the staff member (Deputy Principal) responsible for that class using the Daily Absentee Register.

  • Parents will be asked to telephone student absences to the School by 9.00am on the day.

  • Parents can notify the School of reasons for absence via email or letter. After seven (7) days absences will be permanently recorded as unexplained if a notification has not been received.

  • Parents or carers must complete an Application for Leave form available from the School Administration and forward it to the Principal prior to a holiday or travel in school term time, stating clearly the reason for the absence.

  • If the Deputy Principal accepts the reason for the absence, the absence will be counted as leave.

  • If the Deputy Principal does not believe the absence is in the student’s best interests and does not accept the reason, the absence is unjustified and will be recorded as an Absence.

  • Parents seeking exemption from attendance at the School are required to complete an Exemption Application Form available from the School Administration.

  • The Principal will assess all Exemption Applications according to the Exemption from School Procedures (Refer to page 5 of this document)

  • In the first instance, a parent or caregiver will be contacted by the Deputy Principal by 10:00 am to indicate their child has been recorded as absent. An explanation will be requested.

  • An attendance report will be generated by administrative staff for each year group at the end of each term. This will be reviewed by the class or roll teacher to look for patterns of absence. Any concerns need to be forwarded to the relevant senior staff member. Action will be determined on a case by case basis in consultation with the Principal. A written record will be kept in the student’s file. In addition, the Deputy Principal will be alerted by the School’s Administration database, when absence becomes frequent. 

  • Where school-based strategies have failed to restore regular school attendance for habitual absenteeism, the Deputy Principal will make schooling arrangements with one or more parents or carers with a signed undertaking kept by the school and a copy provided to the parent or carer. If the Principal suspects a child or young person is at risk of significant harm through absenteeism then they will report to the Community Services Child Protection Helpline (telephone 13 3627). Where a Principal suspects a child or young person is at risk of harm which does not meet the threshold of significant harm but is not trivial then they will contact the Child Wellbeing Unit (telephone 02 9269 9400 at local call charges).

  • Attendance information on School’s Administration database will be updated on receipt of written notification from parent or caregiver and a copy of this information is stored. 

  • Where unsatisfactory class or School attendance is identified, the attendance issue and any action taken will be recorded, as appropriate, electronically and on the student file and followed up with interviews with the student and/or parent/s and possible discipline actions taken and/or referral to Counselors or outside Psychologists or Specialists as required.

  • The reason given for absence/lateness/early leaving must be genuine and the leave unavoidable: illness, medical appointment, pre-approved commitment or emergency.

  • Unless the reason is one of the above, students will have their absence recorded as ‘unexplained’ on their School record.

  • Continued unsatisfactory attendance may result in more serious action being taken by the School as determined by the Deputy Principal following a policy of procedural fairness. (Refer also to Discipline Policy for more detail).

  • To ensure transparency and fairness for all, students who appear to have been taking time off to give themselves an unfair advantage in studying for Assessment Tasks or to avoid involvement in scheduled School activities will be required to provide a doctor’s certificate or other documentary evidence as determined by the School to prove the authenticity of their absence.

  • The register of daily attendance will be maintained and archived in School’s Administration database.

 

Record of Enrolment:

The School will keep a register of enrolments in School’s Administration database and in paper form that includes the following information for each student:

 

  • name, age and address

  • the name and contact telephone number of parent(s)/guardian(s)

  • date of enrolment and, where appropriate, the date of leaving the School and the student’s destination

  • for students older than six (6) years, the school will record the previous school or pre-enrolment situation

  • the register of enrolments will retained for a minimum period of five (5) years preceding the current date

 

Privacy:

Maarif Schools of Australia – Gallipoli Campus is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act. The school will collect and hold personal information, including sensitive information, about children and parents and/or guardians (‘Parents’) before, during and after the course of a child’s enrolment at the school to satisfy the school’s legal obligations and allow the school to discharge its duty of care.  Additionally, the personal information may be used to maintain up-to-date communication with parents, for day-to-day administration, to ensure the child’s education, social and medical needs are met, as well as for the school’s marketing purposes. The School will always make security of personal information a priority. 

 

Students Leaving the School:

  • Destination School Known: If a student’s destination school is known, the School will email a letter to the destination school and enter this data and the date of the emailed letter on the student’s record in School’s Administration database.

  • Destination School Unknown: Where the destination of a student under seventeen (17) years of age is unknown, the school will email a letter to the Home School Liaison Officer at the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) notifying them of the student’s name, age and last known address. A copy of the emailed letter will then be placed on the student’s file. Individual School Leaver’s information will also be stored in School’s Administration database. A copy of the email and its attachment will also be filed in the student file.

 

Record of Students Leaving the School:

  • All Student Leavers’ files will be archived for a period of seven (7) years.
     

Exemption policy statement:

Where the parents of a student of compulsory school age seeks an exemption from attendance at the School or an exemption from enrolment, the School will process the parent’s application in accordance with the guidelines from NSW Department of Education and Communities.

 

Procedure:

  • Parents will submit the application and supporting documentation, where requested, to the School Principal.

  • The School will send applications for over one hundred (100) days in a year to the Minister’s delegate at the Student Welfare Directorate, NSW Department of Education and Communities.

  • Applications for under one hundred (100) days in a year or a request to leave school to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship, will be considered by the School.

  • The School Principal will consider the application in accordance with the criteria in the guidelines from the NSW Department of Education and Communities.

  • Where the application is supported, the Principal will provide the original exemption certificate to the parent/s.

  • Where the application is not supported, the Principal will notify the parents in writing of the unsuccessful outcome using the format from the guidelines.

  • Copies of the application and exemption certificate or notification are kept on the student’s file.

  • The Minister’s delegation and copies of exemption certificates should be filed in the School’s attendance records.

 

Procedures to make staff aware of the Attendance Policy and Minister’s Code:

At the beginning of each school year all teachers will be in-serviced and reminded of how to implement the Student Attendance procedures. This will include both electronic and manual (if this is required due to IT issues) roll taking. Staff will be taken through the steps necessary for the correct and accurate implementation of the roll marking process. 

Staff will be required to sign a sign-in sheet upon arrival and sign-out sheet upon dismissal.  As changes occur staff will be re-in serviced and alerted to these changes and their implementation. 

New staff will be shown how to access, accurately record, implement and monitor attendance by the relevant senior staff member. 

Staff members who present a lax attitude to marking rolls and following up procedures regarding student attendance will be subject to disciplinary action.

 

LIST OF APPENDICES:

  • Attendance Register Codes – Symbols to be used for explanation of student absence

  • Attendance Register Codes – Symbols to be used to record a variation in attendance

  • Application for Exemption from Attendance at School: Exceptional circumstances (and follow-up processes and correspondence)

  • Student Attendance Improvement Plan

 

Attendance Register Codes

 

Definitions

 

Only the following attendance register codes must be used to record the:

  • Explanation of student absence, and/or

  • Variation in student attendance

 

Attendance Register Codes

Symbols to be used for explanation of student absence

Attendance Register Codes

Symbols to be used to record a variation in attendance

(not counted as an absence for statistical purposes)

1. Note: In most cases, this code will only be used by the Department of Education and Communities schools, with the exception of students from non-government schools attending hospital schools.

 

2. Note: For Independent Schools use ‘F’ not ‘H’ or students attending external tutorial centres and programs that are school authorised.

 

Recording the duration of an absence or variation attendance:

In addition to recording the reason for an absence or the reason for a variation in attendance, the duration of the absence or variation must be recorded.