Where a student is enrolled in a public school, the School Education Act 1999 (the Act) requires that the student attends the school on site or an educational program of the school elsewhere as directed by the principal. The parents of a child who is enrolled in a school are responsible under the Act for ensuring their child is attending on a daily basis. Parents or other responsible persons may be asked to provide an acceptable explanation for any absence to the principal. For the purpose of this policy, parent is defined as the parent at law.

Consistent attendance and participation at school are essential factors in achieving social and academic learning outcomes. To comply with the Education Act 1999 and the School Education Regulations 2000, SIDE has established clear expectations about student contact and participation in the educational program.

Students are considered to be ‘at-risk’ if attendance falls below 90%. Where a student’s attendance falls below 90% and acceptable reasons have not been provided for a number of absences, further investigation may assist the return to regular attendance. The Department of Education Student Attendance Policy requires schools to follow up on cases of non-attendance and work with parents and students to improve the situation. This may involve the support of a specialist school, network or regional officers and connect parents with agencies that are able to help.

How is attendance at SIDE monitored?

Attendance at SIDE is based upon satisfactory submission of work, teacher/student contact and participation in online lessons.

Home based students

Attendance is based upon the regular return of work and/or satisfactory contact with the teacher. Students are considered absent if, without reasonable explanation they do not:
•    Participate in Webex lessons and engage in Moodle activities
•    Submit work according to the calendar or to a negotiated schedule
•    Adhere to contact arrangements
•    Complete required assessments

If a teacher believes there is an acceptable reason for negotiating a change in the work plan or contact arrangements - no further action is required. An ‘acceptable reason’ may vary according to the cultural context of the student or their individual circumstances. Students who have not attended for three weeks, without an acceptable reason, will be referred to the Student Services Team for actioning through Students at Educational Risk processes.