As we move away from the mild autumn weather of Melbourne and prepare for the colder winter conditions ahead, it is important to remind our school community of the importance of regular school attendance. This can be a time of year when it is more difficult to consistently attend from day to day, but it is very important that students continue to do so. Our school has invested heavily on building the capacity of teachers to deliver an effective and relevant curriculum that will prepare all students for the demands of the modern world. However, far too many students are unable to access the curriculum due to their regular non-attendance. Even though teachers do their best to help students catch up on work missed as a result of their absence, it can never replace being present in the class and engaging with the learning that has been prepared for those lessons. Students can never adequately make up for the loss of learning opportunities as a result of missed lessons.
The research supports the fact that there are strong links between attendance and student outcomes. There is also evidence to suggest that poor attendance can lead to early school leaving, substance abuse, poverty, unemployment and negative health outcomes. While some school absences are unavoidable and understandable due to illness and health concerns, many are not. They are unexplained and unauthorised absences that place those students at risk with regards to their education and future prospects.
Because we are committed to getting the best possible outcomes for our students at Cranbourne Secondary College, we place great emphasis on students achieving high rates of attendance. We encourage students to attend regularly, but we need the support of parents. Parents have a crucial role in ensuring their child or children attend school regularly. The best chance to achieve good student outcomes occurs when there is a strong partnership between school and home, and I know we will be more effective in improving student attendance if we can work together to reduce absenteeism.
Students deserve the best opportunities to succeed at school, and I look forward to working with our school community to improve attendance and make 2019 a successful year for all the students at our College.
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