Attendance

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

All Victorian schools have a legal responsibility to monitor, record and follow up student absences. The following pages provide information on what schools can do to meet these obligations.

The School Attendance Guidelines apply to all registered schools in Victoria, including non-government schools, parents of compulsory school-aged children and School Attendance Officers.

Why is attendance important?

Daily school attendance is important for all children and young people to succeed in education and to ensure they don’t fall behind both socially and developmentally.

School helps children and young people to develop important skills, knowledge and values that set them up for further learning and participation in their community. School helps them to make the most of life opportunities.

Children and young people who regularly attend school and complete Year 12, or an equivalent qualification, have:

  • better health outcomes
  • better employment outcomes
  • higher incomes across their lives.

Research confirms there is a strong link between attendance and adverse student outcomes like early school leaving, poverty, substance use, unemployment and negative health outcomes.

Regular absences from school may also be a critical indicator of disengagement, leading to adverse outcomes. It is an easily observable warning sign.

Early identification and intervention is critical in addressing problematic attendance issues and possible student disengagement from school.

A child missing one day a fortnight will miss four weeks in a year, and more than a year of school by Year 10. It is important that children develop regular attendance habits at an early age.

Influencing student attendance

Schools can positively influence student attendance. To do so, they need to base their approaches in an understanding of their students’ needs and with an awareness of whole-school, cohort and targeted responses for individuals.

Promoting school attendance, building a positive school climate, monitoring attendance and supporting students and families to address barriers that influence it are all key elements in helping students to attend school every day and maximise their educational achievement. 

Schools also need to have an understanding of the factors that may affect their students’ non-attendance and an awareness of what factors can be changed. There are complex factors that impact student attendance and absenteeism, which includes a range of student behaviours like school refusal and truancy.

For more information, see: Factors influencing student attendance

More information

Read the full Attendance policy
Available in the School Policy and Advisory Guide

Case Studies

Print the Student Attendance Guidelines

These pages have been developed from the 2014 School Attendance Guidelines. The guidelines support schools and School Attendance Officers to meet their responsibilities and duties under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017.

To download the guidelines in full, see: Attendance Guidelines

Contact

For more information and to make a referral to the School Attendance Officer, contact your regional office. To find your nearest office, see: Regions