Parent responsibilities

Parents are required to ensure their child attends school and to provide an explanation for their child's absence from school, and the principal must record in writing the reason (if any) given by the parent. The principal must be able to determine from the records if the excuse given was reasonable in terms of the parent meeting their legal obligations.

Parents should inform the school of the reason for their child’s absence so that the school can:

  • determine if the child’s absence needs to be excused by the principal, in line with school policy and these guidelines
  • determine the appropriate follow up to ensure the child’s education and wellbeing is supported
  • record if the parent has a reasonable excuse for not meeting their obligation to ensure their child attends school each day.

Where possible, parents should inform the school in advance of upcoming absences.

School responsibilities

The school must record student attendance twice per day in primary schools and in every class in secondary schools and record, in writing, the reason given for each absence. This is necessary to:

  • meet legislative requirements
  • discharge schools’ duty of care for all students
  • assist calculation of the school’s funding
  • enable the school governing body (school council in government schools) to report on student attendance annually
  • meet Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) requirements (for VCE students).

All registered schools must ensure their system for recording student attendance meets the requirements above. Government schools must use only CASES21, eCASES21 or third party software which is compatible with CASES21 to record student attendance.

Accurate and comprehensive student attendance records, including the reasons for any absences, also allow schools to monitor the effectiveness of attendance improvement strategies and measure achievement against attendance targets. It also provides evidence for any further enforcement proceedings including issue of an Infringement Notice (and any appeal) and court proceedings if it appears a parent may not have met their legal obligations to ensure their child attends school.

All schools must report the annual rates of student attendance for the year to the school community at least once a year. Schools are also required to report information about student enrolment and attendance for funding requirements. The Department collects information on student attendance through extraction of data from CASES21 and publishes attendance rates in its annual report.  For the purposes of monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the enforcement system, the Department will collect information about the use of School Attendance Notices and School Enrolment Notices.

Late Arrival / Early Leave Passes

All students must report to the Office if late to school to record time of arrival.

Parents who need to pick up their child early during school hours for appointments, etc. must send a note in the morning to receive an early leavers pass from the office so the child’s teacher/s are aware that they are leaving. This enables your child to be at the office and ready to leave when you pick them up.Should you arrive at the school without prior notification, lengthy waits can occur while we locate and organise your child.

Student Absences

  • If your child is unable to attend school, parents/guardians are asked to enter a ‘Note/Approval’ via Compass. You may also ring the school or have your child bring a note when they return to school.
  • If you know your child will not be attending school please advise the school as soon as possible via Compass, phone or a note given to your child.
  • If you require your child to leave suddenly throughout the day please ring the school in advance to arrange the pickup of the student.
  • If your child becomes ill during the day your child attends sickbay and the attending staff member will make contact with you if it is necessary for the student to be picked up.
  • Students are not to ring home on their mobile phones during the school day, they can use one of the school phones located in every office.


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