Making attendance a big issue


These students from St Oliver
These students from St Oliver's Harris Park have 100% attendance records for 2017

The Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) has raised the important issue of absenteeism to the wider NSW community through a prominent article with the Daily Telegraph. 

CEDP research showed that up to one in four NSW high school students regularly miss school giving excuses like “taking advantage of budget holiday cruises”, “sleeping in”, “a flat tyre” or “it’s too cold”.

Other reasons given for Western Sydney students skipping school involved both parents working long hours and failing to keep tabs on their children, as well as transport difficulties.

The Daily Telegraph said in the state school system, new figures show the NSW Department of Education has recorded a rise in legal action against parents for not sending their children to school — 311 cases were sent to court to enforce compulsory attendance in 2016, an increase from 255 cases the year before.

As part of a campaign to cut absenteeism, the CEDP was urging parents not to take their kids out of school because it will develop a life-long bad habit.

“If they miss a day of school a fortnight that adds up to more than a year of missed learning over their school year,” CEDP director of performance Paul Easton told the Daily Telegraph.

In the Parramatta diocese one in five secondary students are not attending school regularly, while the figure is one in four across the Catholic system. Cruise ship holidays are the latest big excuse for pulling kids out of school, with other excuses including: too tired, I’ll come tomorrow, car trouble, two flat tyres, too hot, cold, windy, too tired and slept in. Mr Easton said parents working shifts was a problem for some families, as well as transport issues.

“The biggest issue principals talk to me about are the extended family holidays dur- ing school time,” he said. “That’s a recurring issue.”

Last month a Wollongong mum was fined $500 for failing to make her four children go to school — one of her teens had 34 days off without explanation and another teen only attended three days of school out of a possible 50.

Posted By CathEd Parra at 10/08/2017 3:19:43 PM

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