At­tend­ing school vi­tal for ed­u­ca­tion

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - with greg whitby

WHILE par­ents of­ten de­fer to NAPLAN data and MyS­chool rank­ings as the best in­di­ca­tors of school and stu­dent suc­cess, other mea­sures such as at­ten­dance rates also re­veal im­por­tant in­sights.

Un­der leg­isla­tive re­quire­ments, all NSW schools must record stu­dent at­ten­dance daily just as all par­ents are legally obliged to en­sure their child at­tends school.

This is be­cause the sim­ple act of show­ing up pro­vides chil­dren with op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop skills, tal­ents and knowl­edge.

The Ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil high­lights en­rol­ment and at­ten­dance as key per­for­mance mea­sures. We also know that at­ten­dance lev­els, par­tic­u­larly in pri­mary school, are a strong in­di­ca­tor of things to come in terms of aca­demic, so­cial and emo­tional goals.

Miss­ing a week or a few days due to ill­ness or fam­ily cir­cum­stances should not cause par­ents to panic but con­sis­tent ab­sences dis­rupt the im­por­tant foun­da­tions that early school­ing lays, and sec­ondary school­ing builds upon. Miss­ing one or two days a month can add up to al­most a year of missed learn­ing over the course of a stu­dent’s school life.

At­ten­dance every day is a mes­sage that needs to be col­lec­tively re­in­forced to stu­dents by schools and par­ents. Reg­u­lar at­ten­dance es­tab­lishes pos­i­tive pat­terns of be­hav­iour and at­ti­tudes to ed­u­ca­tion.

When schools have high rates of un­ex­plained ab­sences, it can im­pact on school cul­ture and our ex­pec­ta­tions of all stu­dents achiev­ing suc­cess. Se­condly it can dis­turb the flow of teach­ing es­pe­cially when teach­ers are re­quired to bring those stu­dents up to speed.

The more stu­dents we have show­ing up at school each day, the more we are able to max­imise their learn­ing.

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