Referral to a School Attendance Officer

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

Guidance for all Victorian Schools for when to refer a student to a school attendance officer.

Referring a student attendance matter to a school attendance officer may be appropriate where the principal determines that:

  • intervention strategies have been unable to secure parental engagement and improvement in school attendance (or engagement in another educational program)
  • requiring the parent to respond to the notice will convey the seriousness of the matter and is likely to elicit an improvement in attendance.

A principal does not have to make a referral for all absences that meet these criteria but may continue to manage the absences at a school level.

How to make a referral

Referrals to a School Attendance Officer should be made through regional offices.

To find your nearest Regional office, see: Regions

After making a referral or report, a school must continue to record and monitor the student’s attendance.

For Catholic schools

Principals in Catholic schools are required to consult with relevant Diocesan Catholic Education Office Wellbeing personnel before any referral to a Department School Attendance Officer.  For more information, see: Dioceses

Information for student attendance officers

For more information, see: School referral notices

Print the student attendance guidelines

These web pages and the 2014 school attendance 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