Under the Education ACT (1990) all students between the ages of 6 and 17 must attend school every day unless there is a justified reason (which must be provided to the school within seven days).
At Randwick Public School, playground supervision is provided from 8:30am every day. The school learning time begins at 9:00am and ends at 3:00pm. It is essential that students arrive at school on time so their attendance is registered.
As noted in the NSW Government Procedures, if a student is absent and no explanation has been provided, parents/carers will be contacted on the same day by the office via SMS text message in Sentral Messaging. Teachers may also contact parents/carers via phone or email for a reason.
If there has been no explanation given throughout the week, the teacher will be provided with a notification letter from Sentral to be sent home with the child.
Explained vs justified absences
Parents are required to explain absences within a seven day period. This can be done via an email to the school or phone call to the front office (9398 6022). This will then be entered into Sentral.
The NSW Education Act requires all absences that have not been explained within seven calendar days are to be permanently recorded as ‘unjustified’.
There are a limited number of reasons which justify an absence from school. In some circumstances, even though a reason has been provided, the absence will still be recorded as ‘unjustified’ because the reason does not count as a valid reason as per the Department of Education policy.
What are valid reasons?
The two most common reasons for student absence are ‘sick’ and ‘leave’.
S- Sick: The student’s absence is due to sickness or as the result of a medical appointment. The school requires a medical certificate for absences related to sickness for three days or more. The Principal/teachers may request a medical certificate on each occasion in addition to explanations, if the the explanation is doubted or the student has a history of unsatisfactory attendance.
L- Approved leave: The student’s absence is due to an incident such as a serious illness of an immediate family member or attendance at a funeral and the explanation has been accepted by the principal.
A- Unexplained absence: The student’s absence is unexplained or unacceptable which could include going shopping, weather conditions, tired, needed a day off etc.
Staff will add comment to indicate how absence was noticed (note, email, verbal) and a brief explanation if necessary i.e. L- note: family funeral
NOTE that if the absence remains unexplained, after 7 days it will automatically change in Sentral to ‘A’ to indicate unexplained.
See further details below regarding School Attendance Register Codes and Sentral.
If an absence has been explained, notes should be kept until the end of year and provided to the office to archive. As per the Department of Education procedures, retain records of verbal explanations and electronic explanations for two years.
Late/early (Partial absences)
Students are expected to be at school, in lines/class by 9:00am each morning. If a student is late to school, they need to sign in at the front office to review a late note. Parents are expected to provide a reason for their child’s lateness. If a valid reason is not provided, the absence will be recorded as ‘unjustified’.
If a student needs to leave early (eg. for a doctors appointment), please contact the school office by email prior to the day/appointment. The class teacher will be advised of the arrangements and the the parent/carer will collect their child from the school office.
Extended Leave/family holidays
Application for Extended Leave and Certificate of Extended Leave forms are required when a student will be absent from school for more than five (5) days. Travel documents must be attached to these form which can then be emailed to the school or dropped in at the office.
Families are encouraged to travel during the NSW school holidays. If travel outside of NSW school holidays periods is necessary, the family must apply to the principal for approval beforehand. If the family does not apply for leave, or it is not approved, the absences from school will be unjustified.
Absences relating to travel will be marked as leave on the roll and therefore contribute to your child’s total absences for the year.
To apply for leave, you should read the School Attendance Policy
and the ‘Student Attendance in Government Schools Procedures’ document on the right-hand side of the web page and then complete the Application for Extended Leave (link attachment) and Certificate of Extended Leave (link attachment)forms. Return the completed forms to the school along with relevant travel documentation such as an e-ticket or itinerary (in the case of non-flight bound travel within Australia only).
Teachers are not required to provide work for students complete on holidays, however we recommend daily reading, keeping a diary of the holidays. Technology is an easy and effective way. Try having your child create a digital diary of their trip- voice recordings, pictures, videos & writing. Their online subscriptions such as Maths Seeds or Matific and Reading eggs will continue to be accessible if appropriate.
Supporting Student Health
A signed Request for Support at School of a Student’s Health Condition is required if medication is to be taken at school. Medication will then be administered by a designated staff member. It is preferred that Asthma sufferers have spare relieving medication kept at the office. An emergency asthma kit is kept in the First Aid Room/Sick Bay, and separate first aid kits are taken on excursions and to sporting events.
Students who become sick or are injured at school attend the Sick Bay located in the front administration office where they are assessed by staff with first aid qualifications. If a student is seriously ill or has sustained an injury of concern, the school will contact parents.
All staff are trained regularly in the management and treatment of Anaphylaxis in accordance with ASCIA and DEC Health policies.
It is encouraged that students do not bring nuts or nut spread to school due to the large number of students who are anaphylactic.
A current contact telephone number for all parents and an emergency contact must be available.
If parents cannot be contacted and the injury or sickness is sufficiently serious, an ambulance will be called. The school contributes to the Ambulance Fund for this purpose.
Students’ medical details are documented within their individual Operoo profiles by parents. Details should be updated throughout the school year as required, so teachers can access up-to-date information about each child.