Department of Education

Behaviour and Wellbeing

Behaviour and Wellbeing

Behaviour and Wellbeing ‹ Student attendance

Student attendance


Restoring Attendance

When a student’s absence is identified as a concern, school staff should work collaboratively with students, parents, and the community to develop and implement strategies to restore satisfactory attendance.

A pattern of persistent absence places a student at educational risk and may itself be an indicator of other risks to the student's wellbeing. Principals should consider whether a student's absences may place the student at suspected risk of harm and draw to the attention of other agencies where it is appropriate to do so.

The Student Attendance Policy outlines the following framework for restoring student attendance:

The flowcharts below provide a summary of the steps for restoring student attendance in accordance with the Student Attendance Policy and the School Education Act 1999.

These flowcharts are a guide only.  Schools should determine their own operational procedures to suit their context, and align these to the requirements of the Student Attendance Policy, School Education Act 1999 and School Education Regulations 2000.

Attendance Intervention 1 outlines steps toward the Consultation Phase and Formal Meeting

Attendance Intervention 2 focuses on persistent absence and the move to the system-level strategy of Attendance Advisory Panels

Consultation Phase

During the consultation phase, the principal should meet with the student and parent(s) to:

  • investigate the reasons for absences;
  • identify issues concerning the absences; and
  • develop attendance improvement strategies. These strategies should be included within a documented plan.

For students with an existing documented plan concerning other areas of educational risk, including (but not limited to) an Individual Education Plan, an Individual Behaviour Plan or an Individual Transition Plan, it is expected that goals and strategies devised for attendance improvement will be built into the existing document. Strategies should be measurable and reviewed and revised regularly.

During this phase, when deemed necessary, the principal should:

  • consult with appropriate staff in the education regional office (which may include the school psychologist) or from the network for advice and assistance in appropriate strategies for attendance improvement; and
  • work collaboratively with the student’s family and other agencies to restore regular attendance.

For students in Years 11 or 12, the principal may consult with the regional Engagement and Transitions Manager

Resources 

The Consultation Phase Support Document is a resource for staff supporting students during the consultation phase.

Guidelines for Implementing Documented Plans in Public Schools – guidance on the standardised requirements of Documented Plans in Western Australian public scools.

Formal Meeting

The principal should convene a formal meeting with parent(s) when it is determined that school-devised strategies and supports undertaken in the Consultation Phase have been exhausted and not resulted in any improvement to attendance.

Parents (and students as appropriate) should be fully supported to attend and participate in the formal meeting. Reasons for failure to comply with attendance requirements should be explored, including any social, cultural, lingual, economic, geographic or learning difficulties involved.

During the formal meeting, the principal should give the parent the opportunity to explain why the strategies previously attempted have not been successful.

At the formal meeting, the principal will usually refer the parent to one of the system-levelstrategies available to restore attendance:

These two strategies involve drawing on the expertise of external services, agencies or community members in an arrangement that is legislated.

Student attendance
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