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Regular Attendance Matters...

We often hear of parents who give approval for their children to take days off for reasons such as  ‘going shopping’ or staying at home because it’s a bit hot. Even scheduling appointments or driving lessons can have a significant impact on a student’s ability to stay connected with and make sense of their learning at school.

A small number of absences may be justified if your child:

· is too sick to go to school or has an infectious illness

· is required to attend to a serious and/or urgent family situation (eg a funeral)

· has to go to a special religious ceremony

Murray Bridge High School is committed to improving the attendance of our students. In order to get attendance over 95%, students must have less than  2 days absence in a term.

Research tells us that regular school absence can lead to a lifetime of disadvantage.

Did you know -

· Missing 5 days in 3 weeks is equivalent to losing 33% of a student’s available learning time.

· Missing a day a week as a student progresses from year 8 to year 12 equates to losing over 1 year of learning by the end of secondary schooling.

· And if a student Misses 20 days a term during that time it equates to losing 2 whole years

Consider school as a workplace. When a person is absent from work they need to notify the employer and give a reason. The current workplace conditions accept a minimal number of sick days a year (usually up to 10), with a doctor’s certificate required on the second day. People who do not comply find themselves ‘out of a job’. Students who do not go to school regularly do not have the life skills required to successfully integrate in to, and to maintain a position in the workplace.

So what will happen if your child does not go to school regularly?

If your child does not start coming regularly to school and we do not receive a reasonable explanation from you, we will need to report to the Department of Education and Child Development Attendance Officer. The implications of this for you may include

· Home visit from the DECD attendance officer

· visits from SAPOL along with a notification to the Child Abuse and Neglect report line.

· a notification to Centrelink.

We would prefer to work together with you to ensure your child is coming to school and has the best education possible. We have developed support networks to work with students who are anxious about coming to school and alternative programs that may start off part time  and transition into fulltime attendance. Depending on the age of your child, outside of school programs may be able to be offered.

Absence from school can limit a student’s achievement of essential knowledge and skills required for effective participation in work, relationships and families, and active citizenship.

The next time your child asks to stay home, consider the longer term implications – and ask yourself, “am I setting my child up for failure?”

For further information please refer to the Department for Education and Child Development website:


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