Turning Up

Turning up at school each day really matters.

Not only does regular attendance make academic success more likely, it also helps develop the skills of organisation, social interaction and promotes feelings of belonging. 

Researchers have found a strong correlation between attendance at school and academic performance and success.

“Absence from school is often the biggest single cause of poor performance and achievement.”

When children are absent from school, they miss out on consistent instruction that is needed to develop basic skills. Children in early grades are particularly susceptible to falling behind in fundamental reading skills, which can have a snowball effect that impacts future learning.

Turning up on time also makes a difference.

Despite traffic, late buses, forgotten uniform pieces and other distractions, most of our students are on campus and ready to learn on time. For this we are truly grateful.

Many students arrive on campus early for Sport, Music, Drama, Dance and academic activities, and because of limited time we need to start their activities on time to get the most out of the opportunities the School offers.

Actually, turning up on time for any event, practice, class or rehearsal, can be seen as a sign of respect for the organisers and other participants. In the words of legendary Rugby League coach, Wayne Bennett: “Rule one, don’t be late, because all you’re doing is saying you’re more important than the rest of us.”

Did you know that children not attending school without a valid reason is a breach of the NSW Education Act (NSW Education Act, 1990)?

Parents or carers of children of compulsory school age are responsible for ensuring their child attends school every day. Children must commence school by age 6 and then complete Year 10. After Year 10 and until they turn 17, students must be: in school or registered for home schooling.

  • 95% attendance:  Students are expected to have above a 95% school attendance rate, because days missed are years lost. That’s why making sure your child comes to school every single day (unless genuinely sick) is so important.
  • Holiday time: Please remember, holidays should only be booked during school breaks. Students should be at school every day during school term, right from the first day until the last.

Under the Act, schools have a number of attendance responsibilities. Schools are required to have policies and procedures for school registration that address the following school responsibilities in relation to attendance:

  • maintaining registers of enrolments and daily attendance,
  • recording and monitoring daily attendance/absence of students,
  • following up student absences,
  • processing applications for exemption from attendance or enrolment,
  • monitoring attendance data,
  • implementing intervention strategies to improve unsatisfactory attendance.

I know that sometimes the phone calls and messages about student absences can be irritating but they are evidence that the school takes its obligations seriously and that we know that the negative impact from continued absences from school can ripple into our students’ future, limiting their options in life.

Want to share your thoughts on this story, or do you have something you’d like to add? Email me at

Related posts

A Message from the Head of Secondary School

NewsPerforming ArtsSecondary

SCAS Success at Shakespeare Regionals in Armidale


SCAS Students represent at NSW Legislative Council's Bicentennial Regional Roadshow


Secondary School Cross Country Results