Attendance Matters

We know when absences are explained, we can provide the best supports for children and families. Protecting the safety and well-being of children through the reporting and monitoring of absenteeism is the responsibility of both parents/carers and schools.

Parents/carers have an obligation to notify the college of their child’s absence and schools are required to notify parents/carers on the day of an unexplained student absence. This responsibility needs to be underpinned by shared understandings and expectations about the procedures for the promotion, monitoring and follow-up of student attendance as outlined in the college’s Attendance Policy.

Clear communication and building a positive and collaborative relationship between schools and parents is critical to the successful implementation of same day notifications and the school’s attendance processes. In addition, in order to implement this requirement, it is essential that schools have accurate and current parent/carer contact details. Please contact the general office on 9308 1144 to update student contact details as soon as possible.

How the College will Communicate Absences

  • At approximately 10am the Absent SMS text message is sent to parents/carers for students marked absent from Form Assembly or Period 1 or from both periods.
  • At approximately 3pm the Absent SMS text message is sent to parents/carers for students marked absent all day.
  • Every week, generally Mondays the Unexplained Absence chronicle and emails are automatically generated from Compass to parents/carers based on teacher roll marking. Unexplained Absences include whole day absent dates and single class absences from throughout the school year – please carefully check the dates and classes unexplained requiring explanation.

At Craigieburn Secondary College attendance and engagement takes high priority and is highly supported by Education Support & Sub-school staff, teachers and by multi-disciplinary health and well-being care teams. We encourage all families to contact the college if you know of an absence or extended absence leave in advance or to promptly explain absences, including lateness to school so as the college can best support your family and your child/children or you may not be meeting your requirements under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

Students learning from home due to exceptional circumstances and have Principal Approval will be coded as ‘Remote Learning (exceptional)’ for the following COVID-19 related reasons:

  • Student has a medical vulnerability, and their GP has advised that they should learn from home.
  • Student has COVID-19 but is well enough to study remotely.
  • Student is in quarantine and learning remotely.
  • Student is in isolation and learning remotely.
  • Student is unable to return from interstate or overseas due to COVID and the school is supporting them to learn remotely.

Reporting Absences

Follow one of the options to explain lateness or absences and/or request attendance & engagement support.

The college is doing its best to keep attendance records as accurate and as up-to-date as possible. Attendance records are uploaded daily to the Department of Education and Training.

Students experiencing difficulties returning to school or engaging in the face-to-face learning will not penalised on parent/carer contact and immediate supports will be provided.


View the Attendance Matter PDF below or download Attendance Slides for Schools.


It’s Never Too Late to Improve Attendance!

Every day and Every minute counts

As a college we aim to put strategies in place to improve student attendance, engagement and well-being, hence the Attendance policy processes, and procedures has been developed to best support each family to assist their child/children where possible reach 100% attendance.

The college wishes to ensure that all parent/carers have a clear understanding of how they can meet their legal obligations under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006. See the college Attendance Policy and DET – Starting School and Attendance and Missing School information to understand how the new attendance processes will support your child/ren and families.

Improving student attendance – Supporting Students at Attendance Risk

We would like our families to feel supported through our process, and as such the SMS, emails, letters and reminders are designed for you to gain full understanding of the circumstances behind absenteeism. This provides the basis for the college and families to work together to improve student attendance.

Regardless of the type of absence (approved or unapproved or amended) when a student’s attendance rate reaches less than 90%, the DET determined threshold for students to achieve academically, socially and emotionally at school; then the student is considered at attendance risk. At this point the college will introduce attendance and engagement interventions that may include a:

  • student and engagement profile
  • attendance card and monitoring
  • student support group meeting
  • individual learning plan
  • return to school plan
  • safety and well-being plan
  • referral to the college Allied Health Team
  • referral to external service providers

The college will communicate via Compass chronicle emails when absences are deemed:

  1. Explained Approved – these are absences where the explanation is reasonable, or attendance rate is equal to or greater than 90%
  2. Explained Unapproved – these are absences where the college has determined the explanation is not reasonable or is excessive
  3. Amended Explained – attendance record/s have been updated to an approved reason based on evidence provided e.g., medical certificate
  4. Unexplained – these are absences where no reasons have been provided

Attendance Communication

Families are required to explain lateness and absences before or on the day of a child/children’s absence.

  • If a child/children are absent without communication to the college, a daily SMS message is sent on the day of absence at 10.00am and 3.00pm.
  • If no communication is received to the college, an unexplained absence will be recorded.
  • Unexplained absences will initiate an unexplained absence emailed weekly and throughout the term given to your child/children for families to provide a valid reason for absence – 5 days to return letter.
  • Continued Unexplained Absences will initiate Attendance Unexplained staged response chronicle emailed letters generated by Compass.
  • Explained absences will initiate an Approved or Unapproved or Amended chronicle email generated by Compass.
  • Attendance Rate chronicle emails generated by Compass provide help and encourage positive engagement and support to families to improve their child’s/children’s attendance.

“You and your child are an important part of your school’s community. Every day of attending school counts. Being at school supports your child’s learning, social and mental well being.” (DET, 2022).

We are here to help, if you wish to discuss all things attendance and engagement at school, please contact your child’s year level coordinator or sub-school manager on 9308 1144 or via the Compass Portal email.

Every day and Every Minute Counts when it comes to getting the best educational and social emotional outcomes for your child/children!
We are here to help!