I want to start by acknowledging our Hackham East School Community – Staff, Students and Parents/Caregivers. In 2016 over 40% of all student absences were unexplained. As a School we reduced this to 21% in 2017. Currently the figure is at approximately 18% in 2018. This is a significant decrease over a short period of time and must be acknowledged. Unexplained absences is a continued focus throughout 2018 and beyond so please continue to let the front office or your child’s teacher know why your child is absent from school
Increasing our whole school attendance is also a continued focus for 2018 and beyond. DECD has set a target for attendance of 93% for 2018. Some families will assume that 93% is normal attendance. The target may surprise other families. Unfortunately our whole school attendance has dropped from 89.9% in 2014 to 88.5% in 2017. This is over 2% below the DECD state average of 90.7%. As a school community we want to see an upward trend in 2018.
To put the figure of 93% into perspective open the attachment below:
The link for the Attendance Strategy for Government Pre-Schools and Schools can be found here.
What can families do to help?
- Be positive about school and support the culture. If you are negative, your children will be negative.
- Support the school around punctuality. Children who are constantly late will start the day behind which can build children’s anxiety levels.
- Students who meet the expectations of the school around attendance and punctuality tend to be more focused with their learning.
- If your child is not well enough to go to school, they are not well enough to play sport or socialise with their friends after school.
- Set and stick to evening/morning routines that enable your children to arrive at school on time and be ready for learning.
A child's refusal to go to school can be very distressing both to parents and the child. There are many reasons why children refuse to attend school including separation anxiety, learning difficulties, a child’s perception of not having friends as well as perceived harassment and bullying.
If there are issues related to non-attendance, contact the school sooner, rather than later. Arrange a time to meet or speak with your child’s teacher. It is better to get an issue sorted out quickly. As a school we are working with students continuously to learn to face up to and work through issues rather than avoid them. As a school community we need to build student's resilience. Issues are hard to solve if your child is not at school.
Hackham East Primary School is committed to working with families to improve attendance. We want to continue to raise the awareness of the importance of school attendance and encourage parents to strongly support students to attend.
Please remember... Your child needs to be at school by 8:40am ready to start school at 8:50am.
Scott Megson, Senior Leader