Student Attendance Policy

1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to describe St Agatha Primary School's approach to the consistent management of student attendance to meet legislative requirements and sector standards.

2. RESPONSIBILITIES

2.1 General requirements

Compulsory schooling​

The Queensland Government states that “each parent of a child who is of compulsory school age has the legal obligation to ensure their child is enrolled and attends a school, on every school day for the educational program in which the child is enrolled, unless the parent has a reasonable excuse.

A child should be enrolled in and attend school in the year that they turn compulsory school age (six years and six months). Each parent of a young person in the compulsory participation phase has the legal obligation to ensure that the young person is participating full-time in an eligible option, unless the parent has a reasonable excuse."

The Compulsory Schooling Phase:

  • starts the year a child turns 6 or starts Prep  
  • ends when the child turns 16 or finishes Year 10, whichever occurs first.

During this phase, the legal guardian has a legal obligation to ensure their child attends school every day.

The Compulsory Participation Phase:

  • starts the year the child stops being of compulsory school age (i.e. reaches the age of 16 or completes Year 10).
  • ends when the child:  
  • gains a Senior Certificate, Certificate III or Certificate IV or  
  • has participated in eligible options for two years after the completion of the Compulsory Schooling Phase or
  • turns 17 years of age.  

During this phase, legal guardians have a legal obligation to ensure their child meets the attendance requirements of the eligible option of their choice. 

Roll-marking

Our school has a responsibility to record student attendance and respond to instances of irregular attendance. Staff use the eMinerva system to record student attendance and absences. It is important for our school to investigate the patterns and underlying causes of non-attendance so that appropriate strategies addressing the specific type of absenteeism can be implemented.

Our school, and by virtue of their employment, our teachers, are legally required to monitor and record attendance of students in their care on a daily basis, whether absent or present in class, on excursion or at a school-based activity.

Student attendance level

Students, legal guardians, and staff will work together to ensure all students meet the school expectation of 90% or above attendance and zero unexplained absences.

90% attendance equates to 5 days absence per term and 10 days absence per semester.

2.2 Roles and responsibilities

RoleResponsibilities
Principal
  • coordinate and implement this procedure
  • manage student attendance in consultation with the school community
  • engage with families to proactively promote high levels of student attendance
  • monitor non-attendance and re-engage students in partnership with legal guardians
  • ensure compliance of data entry in alignment with eMinerva requirements
  • ensure staff are made aware of the BCE Student Attendance policy and this procedure and ensure a copy of this procedure is provided to relief staff (i.e. published on school portal)
  • record and report attendance data in annual reviews
  • ensure relief staff are entered into WSS timesheets in order to gain access to eMinerva
  • ensure eMinerva training is part of the induction process for new staff and annual training for existing staff
Staff with roll-marking responsibilities
  • ensure data is entered into eMinerva in an accurate and timely manner, at least twice per day
  • any student absent from school without explanation requires same day follow up and reporting to legal guardians on the day of the absence
  • follow up on eMinerva notifications of unexplained absences
  • inform Principal of unexplained or 3+ days of absence

3. PROCEDURE

 

ActivityRequirement

Attendance Marking

 

  • Attendance will be marked for all students. Rolls are marked twice a day:

•           AM rolls by 9.10am

•           PM rolls after second break and by 2.10pm

 

Rolls will be checked by the front office secretary by 9.15am each day. A phone call will be made to teachers if their rolls are not marked.  If rolls are frequently not marked this information will be passed onto APA.

Specialist teachers are required to mark the if their class is first session or last session of the day.

School Leadership will be advised of unmarked and incorrectly marked rolls.

Incorrectly marked rolls will be corrected by the teacher responsible for the class.

 

Present Categories in eMinerva

 

  • Students who are:
    • in class will be marked 'Present – In Class'
    • in an alternate learning activity will be marked 'Present – Alternate Learning Activity'
    • with Guidance Counsellors will be marked as 'Present – In-School Appointment'
    • in sick bay will have their attendance category changed to 'Present – In Sick Bay' by the office personnel
    • participating in activities (excursion; camps etc.) will be marked accordingly by the teacher responsible for the activity
  • These attendance categories must not be changed, unless the student is present in class and then the category should be changed to 'Present – In Class'
  • Students will only be marked as 'Present – Not Required to Attend' upon instruction from School Leadership Team.

Absent Categories in eMinerva

 

  • Students who are:
    • not in class, and notification has not been received from a legal guardian, will be marked 'Absent – Unexplained'
    • not in class, and notification has been received from a Legal Guardian, will be marked 'Absent – Explained'
  • When marking the roll, if teachers have received written information from the legal guardian regarding a student's absence from school, the teacher will enter the details (including absence category) into a log in eMinerva
  • If the legal guardian has informed the office of the absence, the school officer will enter these details into a log in eMinerva
  • Class teachers should enter any information regarding future planned absences of students by entering a Notified Absence into e-Minerva
  • If a student is away for three consecutive days (or earlier if concerned) the class teacher will contact the Legal Guardian  
  • Any student absent from school without explanation requires same day follow up and reporting to legal guardians on the day of the absence 
  • If a student has been previously marked 'Present at school' but they are not in class without permission, the teacher is to ring the office and advise that the student is not present. Office personnel will then inform school leadership that the student is missing. They will then attempt to locate the student who will be dealt with according to the school's Student Behaviour Support Plan
  • Students will only be marked as 'Absent – Not Required to Attend', 'Absent – Truant' or 'Absent – Internal Suspension' upon instruction from School Leadership Team

Unexplained Absences

 

  • A notification will be sent to the student's legal guardian by approximately 9.30 am each day. The class teacher will follow up any unexplained absences by contacting the student's legal guardian
  • Past unexplained absences are indicated by the red Unexplained Absence Alert icon on class rolls. When the class teacher receives written explanation of the absence from the student's legal guardian, they will update the absence category and enter details into eMinerva with the details

Late Arrivals

 

  • A student is considered to have arrived late any time after

A student is considered to have arrived late any time after the 8.45 am bell.

All students arriving late must be signed in by a Legal Guardian at the School Office and will be given a late slip. This slip needs to be presented to the teacher when arriving in class. If they do not have a late slip they are to be sent to the School office to sign in.

The late arrival information will be entered by front office staff.

 

Front office staff will contact the Legal Guardian of any student arriving late unaccompanied.

 

If teachers or front office staff observe a student has made a habit of arriving late or is late for three consecutive days, they will contact the student's Legal Guardian as per the policy for absentee students in this document.

 

Early Departures

 

 

A student is considered to be leaving early any time before 2:55pm 

 

As with Late Arrivals, all students leaving early must be signed out at the School Office by a Legal Guardian.

 

The early departure information will be entered by office staff.

  •  
SMS Messages

Unexplained Absences: An SMS message may be sent to students' Main Contact after 9.30am each day advising of any 'Unexplained' absences. The only time an SMS would not be sent would be if the Legal Guardian had not answered the phone call placed by the front office staff

 

Any incorrect messages caused by incorrect roll-marking will be made known to the Deputy Principal by front office staff or teacher. The teacher will follow up by telephoning the student's Legal Guardian.

  •  

Non-Marking of Electronic Roll

 

 

  • If the school computer system is offline, hard copies of all class rolls will be provided by the office. Once the system is online the class teacher will mark the roll so that the records are correct. This may be done the next day if necessary. Only administrators can amend marked rolls in consultation with the Leadership Team
  • In the event of an evacuation, hard copies of rolls will be taken to the evacuation area to be marked by class teachers. Class teachers will advise the Leadership Team of any unexplained absentees
  • During a lockdown the roll will not be marked

Activities

 

 

  • An activity will be entered into eMinerva for students attending excursions, camps and other school-based activities
  • A yellow alert will appear next to the student's name on class rolls to indicate the student has a timetable clash. The activity will be marked by the staff member responsible for the event, e.g. 'Present – Work Study'; 'Present – Excursion'. This attendance category will inherit through the rest of the student's timetable for the day
  • These attendance categories must not be changed, unless the student is present at school and then the category should be changed to 'Present – In Class'

Relief and supervising staff

 

  • Relief staff will have access to the school portal and eMinerva using their own BCE username and password and are to mark attendance in eMinerva for each class they are supervising
  • Teaching staff conducting supervision will mark attendance in eMinerva for the class they are supervising
Part-time Students
  • Part time students will sign in and out of the front office on arrival or departure as per arrangements made

Mobile Attendance Application

 

  • Teaching staff wishing to use this application can access it via their school portal and entering their BCE username and password. The User Guide – Mobile Attendance Application should be read prior to use

4. PERFORMANCE

The school will perform high-level check of this procedure annually and a detailed review at least every two years. 

5. REFERENCES AND DEFINITIONS

5.1 References

  • Attendance – Description of Attendance Categories
  • Attendance – How to Bulk Late Arrival or Early Departure         
  • Attendance – Accessing Another Teacher's Roll
  • Attendance – How to Manage Unexplained Absences
  • Security – Relief Staff
  • Attendance - How to Mark Attendance (Teaching and Administration Staff)
  • Student Attendance policy.

    5.2 Definition
Unexplained absenceAn unexplained absence occurs when the student is not present at school and the legal guardian does not contact the school.