Working with parents

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

Building positive and collaborative relationships with parents is a critical aspect of improving student attendance. Schools should inform parents promptly if their child has repeated absences without a reasonable excuse or explanation.

Where absences are of concern due to their nature or frequency, the school should work collaboratively with the parent/guardian, the student, and other professionals, where appropriate, to develop strategies to improve attendance.

Schools should keep records of all attempts to contact parents or students and any information obtained.

Meeting with parents

Managing issues of absence can be difficult, particularly where there are apparent stress factors within families. Successful school - family relationships will be underpinned by open and effective communication including:

  • providing effective and positive school-to-home and home-to-school communications
  • ensuring that all school personnel, (teaching and non-teaching staff) are welcoming and professional
  • involving families as participants in school decision-making providing opportunities to enable parents to contribute to the school community
  • involving families with homework and other curriculum-related activities
  • providing opportunities to enhance parenting knowledge and skills
  • facilitating community resources and services to support families, students and the school

Schools should engage parents to develop attendance improvement strategies that support the student and examine why absences are a problem.

The focus should be supportive rather than disciplinary, with an emphasis on positive and proactive solutions.

Principals need to ensure that appropriate supports are provided (for example, interpreters, advocates) in order to facilitate the involvement of parents.

For more information on strategies, see: Improving Attendance

Community partnerships

Community expectations can play a significant role in school attendance. Linking to the local community can give schools access to an extended network of community members to encourage and promote school attendance and give a consistent message to young people.

Partnerships via school networks and community service provider networks are an important way for schools to assist students at risk of disengagement from education and non-attendance by sharing approaches and resources.

Resources

For information and resources to help parents understand their obligations, see: Attendance - for parents

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