Address and discourage student absenteeism with the five step approach.
Step 1: Develop a positive school culture
Schools should develop a safe and supportive school environment that promotes positive relationships. This may include implementation of programs that develop social and emotional skills, peer tutoring and mentoring, and anti-bullying strategies.
It is also important to establish positive home-school relationships to assist parents to support their child's attendance at school.
The department's learning and wellbeing framework website provides more information and ideas for creating a welcoming and positive school learning environment.
Ideas for developing a positive school culture
Step 2: Communicate high expectations of attendance
Staff, parents and students should collaboratively develop a clear, inclusive and simple attendance message that promotes high expectations of student attendance. This message should be communicated consistently to students and the school community through the school's website, newsletters and enrolment package.
Ideas for communicating expectations and promoting attendance
Step 3: Record and follow-up student absences
It is important that schools develop consistent and effective follow-up processes for unexplained student absences, as required under the roll marking in state schools procedure. Timely follow-up is a key preventative strategy in reducing absenteeism. It makes it harder for students to miss school without being detected. It also enables parents, who may not be aware that their child is absent, to take action.
Ideas for following-up student absences
Step 4: Monitor student non-attendance
The school's attendance data should be analysed to identify school and student absenteeism trends. Schools should investigate absentee patterns and their relationship to factors such as the day of the week, the class/subject/year level, particular gender/cultural groups, and individual student's patterns of attendance.
OneSchool offers a range of reports and a performance dashboard to assist schools.
Ideas for monitoring student non-attendance
Step 5: Provide intervention and support
Prosecution of one or both parents may occur if the parent/s do not fulfil their legal obligation in regard to enrolment and attendance of their child at school. However, prosecution is considered to be a last resort for use when alternative approaches to improving a student's attendance have not been successful. Schools should also liaise with other agencies such as the Queensland Police Service, Department of Communities, and local non-government organisations for assistance in addressing patterns of absenteeism and to support students and families, as appropriate.
Ideas for intervention and support