Attendance

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Department of Education and Training policy on school attendance

It is the policy of the Department of Education and Training that all children should be enrolled at school and attend on every school day. 
All students in state schools have their attendance monitored and recorded. State schools follow the ‘Roll Marking in State Schools’ procedure.

Education ​​Queensland International policy on school attendance

The Education Queensland International (EQI) policy on school attendance is set out in the terms and conditions of the students’ enrolment agreement (PDF, 500KB).​Overseas students enrolled in an EQI program ('students') are required to attend school on every school day. Schools will develop and implement strategies to assist students to attend school every school day.​

Absences for students are monitored and recorded in the same manner and using the same systems as for all other state school students. However, the intervention strategies to assist students to meet school attendance requirements and the consequences for breaching school attendance requirements will be different.  
This is because:

  • maintaining satisfactory attendance is a condition of a student visa;

  • Commonwealth law requires EQI to be proactive in notifying and counselling students who are at risk of failing to meet attendance requirements;

  • EQI is required by law to report students who have breached attendance requirements.  

Schools develop and implement student-specific and circumstance-specific early intervention strategies to ensure that a student’s attendance does not fall below 80% in any school term. If a student breaches the 80% attendance requirement, EQI may only decide not to report a student to the Commonwealth Government, where:

  • the student produces documentary evidence clearly demonstrating that compassionate or compelling circumstances (e.g. illness where a medical certificate states that the student is unable to attend classes) apply; and

  • that decision is consistent with EQI policies and procedures; and

  • the student is attending at least 70 per cent of the scheduled course contact hours in any school term.

Records of interventions (e.g. phone calls, meetings) will be kept on the student’s file.

Attendance proc​​​edure

This procedure outlines:

  • how schools calculate school attendance;

  • the roles and responsibilities of school staff in monitoring school attendance and dealing with absences;

  • the role of EQI in reporting students to the Commonwealth government for breaching school attendance requirements; and

  • the appeals process.

Calculating attendance percentages

Example of how to calculate attendance

Monitoring attendance and intervention ​​strategies

School Intern​​​ational Student Coordinator

At orientation, the international student coordinator must ensure each student (or for primary school aged students – each parent/approved relative) is informed about the school’s processes for attendance and absence (e.g. school start and finish times, process for late arrivals, providing the school absence line, procedure for advising the international student coordinator of serious illness, injury or incident, reminder about student visa conditions and the obligations in the enrolment agreement, the availability of this procedure on the EQI website).  
Each school week, the international student coordinator must review the attendance records of each student at the school, and:

  • any unexplained absences must be investigated and resolved by talking to the student and/or their parent/approved relative (the school processes and the attendance policy in  the enrolment agreement should be reinforced);

  • any patterns of absence (e.g. regular: late arrivals; early departures; absence from a particular class) should be identified and age appropriate strategies should be implemented (for primary school students – contact the parent/approved relative, for high school students – talk to them directly and liaise with their homestay provider/parent/ approved relative where appropriate);

  • absences of 4 days or more, in any school term, require immediate action - the international student coordinator must urgently contact the student/parent/approved relative/homestay provider to discuss the reasons for the student’s absence and to explain the attendance policy in the enrolment agreement.

If a student is, or is likely to be, absent for more than 4 school days due to an illness, injury or other serious event, consider whether a temporary suspension of their enrolment on compassionate g​​rounds​​ would be appropriate. Note: evidence will be required (e.g. a medical certificate); and the period of a suspension of enrolment will not be included in attendance monitoring calculations.  

If attendance falls ​​​to 90%* in the term

[As a rough guide this will apply when a student is absent 5 full days (or equivalent hours) in any school term.] 
The international student coordinator must:

  1. tell the student and their parent/approved relative/homestay provider they must attend a meeting and bring any evidence supporting the reasons for absence (e.g. a medical certificate) to the meeting (consider using the template 'Attendance – meeting'; letter; and

  2. at the meeting, discuss the student’s reasons for absence, EQI’s attendance policy and the potential consequences for non-compliance (the student may be reported to the Commonwealth Government and the student’s visa may be cancelled).

If the student’s parent/approved relative/homestay provider cannot attend the meeting, meet with the student and liaise with their parent/approved relative/homestay provider after the meeting. 
The international student coordinator must regularly monitor the situation, liaise with the student and relevant school staff and the parent/approved relative/homestay provider. Records of all contact and actions must be kept on the student’s file (on OneSchool).
School Principal (or delegate)

If attendan​​ce falls to 85%* in the term

[As a rough guide this will apply when a student is absent for 7.5 days (or equivalent hours) in any school term.] 
The principal (or delegate) must:

  • issue the template warning letter;

  • meet with the student and their parent/approved relative/homestay provider to discuss the student’s reasons for absence, EQI’s attendance policy and the potential consequences for non-compliance (the student may be reported to the Commonwealth Government and the student’s visa may be cancelled);

  • inform the Director, International Student Programs (ISP).

If the student’s parent/approved relative/homestay provider is unable to attend the meeting, meet with the student and liaise with the parent/approved relative/homestay provider after the meeting. 
The international student coordinator must regularly monitor the situation, liaise with the student, relevant school staff, the Director, ISP and the parent/approved relative/homestay provider. Records of all contact and actions must be kept on the student’s file (on OneSchool).

If attendance falls below 80%* in the school term

[As a rough guide this will apply when a student is absent for 10 full days (or equivalent hours) in any school term.] 
The student has not achieved satisfactory attendance. The principal (or delegate) must immediately notify the Director, International Student Programs (ISP).

To notify the Director, IS​P, EQI

The principal (or delegate) must send an email to EQInternational@det.qld.gov.au. The email must include:

  1. “(student name), unsatisfactory attendance, (school name)” in the subject line of the email;

  2. a copy of the attendance meeting letter (if any) and the warning letter issued to the student;

  3. a list of all the relevant documents, in chronological order, in the body of the email (e.g. school attendance records, records of contact, meeting notes, evidence of compassionate or compelling circumstances);

  4. an explanation about how attendance percentages have been calculated and confirmation of the attendance percentage as at the date the email is sent;

  5. all relevant documents attached;

  6. the principal’s (or delegate’s) assurance that this procedure has been complied with. 

If the principal (or delegate) becomes aware of new, relevant and credible information after she/he has sent the email, above, the principal (or delegate) should email the new information to EQInternational@det.qld.gov.au with “(student name)", failure to maintain satisfactory attendance, further information” in the subject line of the email.


 

Reporting unsatisfactory at​​tendance

Director, Internation​​al Student Programs, EQI

Show cause

Within 3 working days after receiving a compliant notification from the principal (or delegate), the Director, ISP will form a preliminary view about reporting unsatisfactory attendance to the Commonwealth Government. 
If the Director, ISP forms the preliminary view that the student’s unsatisfactory attendance should be reported, the Director, ISP will issue a show cause notice. The student and their parents will have 3 working days to make a submission as to why the Director, ISP should not report unsatisfactory attendance to the Commonwealth Government. (An extension of time to make a submission may be granted upon request, bearing in mind that mandatory reporting is required when the student’s absence from school falls below 70% for the term).

No response to show ca​​use

If the student/parent chooses not to respond within the timeframe, the preliminary view will become final and the Director, ISP will issue an ‘intention to report for unsatisfactory attendance’ letter, with information about how to lodge an appeal.

Decision after receipt of res​​ponse to show cause

The Director, ISP will consider the submission and decide, within 3 working days from the date of receipt of the submission, whether or not to issue an ‘intention to report for unsatisfactory attendance’ letter. 
In accordance with Standard 11.9 of the National Code, the letter will be issued, unless the Director, ISP is satisfied that: compassionate or compelling circumstances exist, which would justify not reporting the student for breaching the 80% attendance requirement; and the student’s attendance is at least 70% for the term. 
If attendance falls below 70% for the term, in accordance with standard 11.9 of the National Code, the Director, ISP will issue an ‘intention to report for unsatisfactory attendance’ letter.
If the Director, ISP issues an ‘intention to report for unsatisfactory attendance’ letter, the student will have 20 working days to submit an appeal to the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills​, as set out in the appeals policy in the student’s enrolment agreement. 
If the Director, ISP decides not to issue the ‘intention to report for unsatisfactory attendance’ letter, the Director, ISP will:

  • inform the principal (or delegate) who will be responsible for liaising with the student, their parent and school staff to assist the student to improve their attendance and to emphasise the obligation on EQI to immediately report if the student’s attendance falls below 70% for the term; and
  • ​give written notice to the student and their parent, making it clear that EQI will issue an ‘intention to report for unsatisfactory attendance’ letter, if the student’s attendance falls below 70% for the term.


 

​A​ppe​​als  

Students are given 20 working days to appeal. The time for making an appeal expires at end of the 20th working day after the day the student was given the decision. 
If no appeal is received within the set timeframe, the decision of the Director, ISP will take effect and EQI must make the notification of unsatisfactory attendance, in PRISMS, as soon as practicable. 
If an appeal is received, the appeals policy in the student’s Enrolment Agreement will apply and the student and parents will be advised, in writing, of the final decision of the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills. 
If the decision of the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills is not favourable to the student, the student may lodge an external appeal with the Ombudsman, within 10 working days of receiving the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills’ decision.
If no external appeal is made within the set timeframe – the decision of the Deputy Director-General, Training and Skills​, will take effect and EQI must make the notification of unsatisfactory attendance, in PRISMS, as soon as practicable. 
If the student lodges an external appeal – EQI must await the outcome of the appeal to the Ombudsman. If the Ombudsman’s decision supports EQI, EQI must report unsatisfactory attendance, via PRISMS, as soon as practicable. 
If the student withdraws from an appeal before a final decision is made, the decision being appealed takes immediate effect and EQI must report unsatisfactory attendance, via PRISMS, as soon as practicable.

Maintaining the st​udent’s enrolment while the appeals process is ongoing

EQI must maintain the enrolment of the student until the appeals process is completed. (Note:   this means EQI will not notify the relevant Commonwealth department of any change to the student’s enrolment status through PRISMS).
The relevant school principal will discuss with the Director, ISP the arrangements in place for the student while the appeals process is ongoing. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.  For example:

  • the student may be required to attend classes at school;
  • it may be appropriate to exclude a student from attending classes, but continue to provide work to complete outside of the classroom;  
  • in some circumstances it may be determined that EQI will not continue to offer learning opportunities throughout the appeals process.

If EQI has​​ issued a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter for the student  

EQI will maintain the student’s accommodation and welfare arrangements, while the appeals process is ongoing, unless extenuating circumstances, relating to the welfare of the student, exist. 
If EQI reports unsatisfactory attendance, via PRISMS, EQI will continue to monitor the accommodation and welfare arrangements for the student until the student leaves Australia, EQI reports that it can no longer approve of the arrangements for the student, or other arrangements are made which meet legal requirements.


 

Delivery of l​​etters ​​​to students and their parents

For primary school students, all letters should be addressed to the student, care of the parent. 
For high school students all letters should be addressed to the student and a copy provided to the parent. 
Correspondence to a parent may be sent directly or it may be sent through an agent. If sending correspondence to an agent, it is a good idea to also copy in the parent. If the student is living with an approved relative, it may be appropriate to also send correspondence to them.  
To ensure matters are dealt with in a timely fashion, hand delivering letters to the student while they are at school and emailing letters to parents and agents is the preferred method of communication.  
Time periods are calculated from the date the student is notified, so it is important to keep records about the delivery of letters. 
Hand delivery: if any letters are delivered in person, you must keep a record of the date and time. 
Email: you may wish to ask the person to confirm receipt, so you know they have received your email. 
Australia Post: check the Australia Post website for usual delivery times to calculate the date the student was given the notice.

*Consider the guide to calculating attendance percentages, above, and make adjustments for your school hours and the length of the school term.

 

Related docum​​ents

 

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Last reviewed 05 August 2016
Last updated 19 September 2016