Student Attendance

Requirements for roll marking and monitoring of attendance.

Please scroll to the bottom of the page for contacts and links

Do you need to comply?

Yes. Schools are required under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic.) to maintain an attendance register.

Conditions of compliance

Children of compulsory school age (six years and up to the age of seventeen years) resident in Victoria are required to be in full-time attendance at a government or registered non-government school unless they are receiving approved home tuition or correspondence education through the Distance Education Centre. In exceptional circumstances, an exemption from school attendance may be granted.

If you have to comply, what do you have to do?

  1. The attendance roll is a permanent record of the attendance of all students. Attendances and absences shall be recorded at least on a half-day basis.
  2. The recording of class attendance for VCE students is required by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
  3. A school must maintain a student attendance register in which —
    a. the attendance at the school of any child of compulsory school age is noted at least twice per day
    b. any reason given or apparent for the absence of the child from the school is noted.
  4. The attendance roll may be in paper form or maintained on a computer system.
  5. An up-to-date attendance record, whether paper or computer based, must be retained in the school and be available for inspection at all times when the school is open by any person authorised by the Minister for Education and Training.
  6. The average student attendance rate is one of the key student outcomes that schools must publish as part of the annual reporting requirements stipulated by the Australian government.
  7. Monitoring of absence and attendance
    Schools must have in place procedures to regularly monitor student attendance/absentee patterns.
  8. Communicating non-attendance Schools should be satisfied that parents/guardians are aware of student absences. In the case of unexplained absences, principals should ensure that there is prompt communication with parents/guardians. This duty includes the principal’s responsibility to keep parents/guardians informed of the absence of post-compulsory-aged students.
  9. Exemption from attendance
    The Community Services Act 1970 (Vic.) provides that a student who has not attained seventeen years of age may be exempt from school attendance by the Minister for Education. Victorian Government Department of Education and Training (Vic DET) Regional Directors have been given the delegated responsibility to authorise such exemptions. Applications for exemptions should be made on the relevant forms available from Vic DET regional offices.

What are the consequences if you don’t comply?

You may be in breach of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic.) and penalties can apply. You may also put yourself at risk in the event that an attendance roll is required as evidence in a court of law.

Who will help you?

Independent Schools Victoria contact:

Peter Roberts
Director, School Services
Ph. 03 9825 7211
peter.roberts@is.vic.edu.au

Kieren Noonan
School Services Advisor
Ph. 03 9825 7275
kieren.noonan@is.vic.edu.au

Documents to Download

Word DocumentISV: Attendance Model Policy (Members’ Area password required)

PDFVic DET: School Attendance Officer Referral – Key Considerations (Members’ Area password required)

Word DocumentVic DET: Principals to School Attendance Officer Referral Form – Five Days Unexplained Absence (Members’ Area password required)

Word DocumentVic DET: Principals to School Attendance Officer Referral Form – Whereabouts of Student Unknown (Members’ Area password required)

Word DocumentVic DET: Draft Letters to Support a Staged Response to Non-Attendance (Members’ Area password required)

Links and Resources

External linkVic DET: School Policy and Advisory Guide – Attendance (please note that some of the information contained in this section does not apply to Independent schools)

External linkVic DET: Student Attendance Guidelines

External linkVic DET: Every Day Counts

External linkVic DET: Exemption from School Attendance or Enrolment