Attendance – why is it important?
DECD has set a target for attendance of 95% by 2016. Some families will assume this is normal attendance others may be surprised by the target. Let’s look at some figures:
- The teaching year is 40 weeks (for year 8-9, shorter for senior students)
- This is 188 days (taking out public holidays and Student Free Days).
- 2.5 days off per term for students will meet the target.
Looking at it another way:
Days per Term Off
Days per Year
Weeks Missed Per Year
% of Courses Missed
Terms Missed over 5 Years
Victor Harbor High School is committed to working with families to improve attendance.
- The school uses a Learner Management System (Daymap) which calculates attendance from all lessons (not just mentoring).
- It also allows teachers to publish lesson outlines and tasks on the program.
- All students have access to their own information on the system.
- Students have remote access to the system which will allow students (and families) to see this from home.
We want to raise awareness of attendance and encourage parents to strongly support students to attend.
What can families do to help?
- Be positive about school and support the culture. If you are negative, your student will be negative.
- Support the school culture around punctuality and uniform. Young people need to realise that there are some things they just need to do. Students who don’t wear uniform or are constantly late will start the day with negatives – detention, questions etc. Students who meet the expectations of the school tend to be more focussed on the learning.
- If your student is not well enough to go to school, they are not well enough to work, play sport or go out socially.
- Ensure you are communicating any legitimate absences with the school through the planner and SMS system.
- Ask about school – what are they doing, what is going well.
- If there are issues related to non-attendance, contact the school sooner than later. Phone your student’s mentor or sub school leader. It is better to get an issue sorted out quickly, students need to learn to face and work through issues rather than avoid them.
- Monitor your students attendance with them on our DAYMAP system – talk about it.
- Have reward systems in place – set a target with a clear goal – e.g. to go to the formal you need x% attendance. If you want to get your Learners and driving lessons you need to show responsibility e.g. x% attendance. Students need to understand privileges are earned not simply given.
The school is also using goals to help students – lunch passes will not be issued if students are not meeting expectations.
Share your story – if you have something that works, let us know so we can share it with other parents.