Schooling is compulsory for children and young people aged from 6 to 17 years (unless an exemption from attendance or enrolment has been granted).

Daily attendance is important for all children and young people to succeed in education and to ensure they do not fall behind both socially and developmentally. School participation maximises life opportunities for children and young people by providing them with education and support networks. School helps people to develop important skills, knowledge and values that set them up for further learning and participation in their community. 

Students are expected to attend Cranbourne East Secondary College during normal school hours every day of each term unless:

  • there is an approved exemption from school attendance for the student
  • the student has a dual enrolment with another school and has only a partial enrolment in Cranbourne East Secondary College, or
  • the student is registered for home schooling and has only a partial enrolment in Cranbourne East Secondary College for particular activities.

Both schools and parents have an important role to play in supporting students to attend school every day. Cranbourne East Secondary College believes all students should attend school all day, every day when the school is open for instruction. It is committed to working with the school community to encourage and support full school attendance.

Parent responsibilities

Parents are required to provide a reasonable explanation for their child’s absence from school and endeavour to schedule family holidays, appointments and other activities outside of school hours. For absences where there is no exemption in place, a parent must provide an explanation on each occasion to the school. This can be done by:

  • Contacting reception
  • Contacting the Year Level Attendance Officer
  • Informing the Year Level Leader of a planned absence via email, phone call or note
  • Recording the absence on Compass
  • Completing the ‘Request for Extended Leave’ document

If a student is absent on a particular day and the school has not been previously notified by a parent, or the absence is otherwise unexplained, the Attendance Officer will notify parents by SMS or phone call. 

If contact cannot be made with the parent (due to incorrect contact details), the school will attempt to make contact with any emergency contact/s nominated on the student’s file held by the school, where possible, on the day of the unexplained absence.

The Principal has the discretion to accept a reason given by a parent for a student’s absence.  The Principal will generally excuse:

  • medical and dental appointments, where out of hours appointments are not possible or appropriate
  • bereavement or attendance at the funeral of a relative or friend of the student, including a student required to attend Sorry Business
  • school refusal, if a plan is in place with the parent to address causes and support the student’s return to school
  • cultural observance if the parent/carer notifies the school in advance

Parents will be notified if an absence has not been explained.

If for any reason your child must miss school, there are things you can do with your school to ensure they don’t fall behind:

  • Inform the school via your child’s Homegroup teacher or Year Level Leader
  • Find out what work your child needs to do to keep up
  • communicate with the relevant staff about any issues affecting their child’s attendance and
  • Develop an absence learning plan with your child’s teachers and ensure they complete the plan.
  • work in partnership with the school to address any concerns.

Top attendance tips for parents

  • Schools want to work in partnership with parents – act early if you have any concerns by contacting your child’s school and asking for advice and support
  • Remember that every day counts
  • There is no safe number of days for missing school – each day a student misses puts them behind, and can affect their educational outcomes and their social connectedness
  • Talk positively about school and the importance of attending every day
  • Open and prompt communication with your child’s school about all absences is a good idea
  • Avoid making routine medical and dental appointments during the school day or planning family holidays during the term
  • Seek help from your school if you are concerned about your child’s attendance and wellbeing. Schools want to work in partnership with parents to support student attendance and wellbeing.

School responsibilities

The school must record student attendance 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 Senior students).

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

Students who arrive late, or wish to depart early, must report to their relevant Year Level Office to record the arrival or departure time.

Parents who need to pick up their child early during school hours for appointments, etc. must send a note with their child. This will assist with ensuring your child is ready to be picked up at the appropriate time. Should you arrive at the school without prior notification, lengthy waits can occur while we locate and organise your child.

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