It’s NOT OK to be Away
In the ‘good old days’ it used to hard to get a day off school. Now it seems to be easy, maybe too easy?
The wider school community, parents and students need to fully understand the impact of missing too many school days.
If a student has a day off, once a fortnight, this would add up to 20 days in a school year (approximately 40 weeks in a school year). 20 days is the same as missing a tenth of a school year.
This would equal to missing a year of schooling up to Year 10.
A key message that needs to be embraced by schools, parents, and the wider community is that “It’s Not OK to be Away”. The ‘fallout’ of poor attendance is very real. These students will be at risk of not achieving their potential and therefore limit their life choices. Also, other real consequences are:
- Social isolation
- May place themselves at risk of harm while absent
- Could get too easily involved in socially unacceptable and / or illegal activities
- Will have gaps in their learning of knowledge and basic concepts
- May feel insecure in the school environment
- More likely to leave school early
- Be over-represented in the juvenile justice system
- Be the victims of bullying and harassment.
When you consider all the above, schools, parents and the wider community need to work in partnership with each other to ensure students enjoy school success and as a consequence more enriching life choices.
Some Benefits of Regular School Attendance
- The development of skills and attitudes such as self-discipline, punctuality, and being organised will optimise life choices
- Regular attendance leads to making friends and learning how to maintain relationships over a length of time
- Regular attendance leads to learning social skills necessary to live and work with others
- It’s safer at school than on the street
- The more students attend, the more they will learn and the more they will like school.
For the Community:
- Young people are the next generation of community leaders and community citizens
- Community agencies can work in partnership with schools towards the shared goal of developing future community leaders and citizens
- Young people who attend school regularly are more likely to be safe
- Young people who attend school regularly are less likely to be involved in crime
- The more students attend, the more they learn and the more likely they are to make a positive contribution to society.
This is within normal range. A child with this attendance rate is able to take full advantage of the teaching and learning opportunities available to them.
This attendance rage is below average. A child with this attendance rate could miss over one year of schooling between prep and Year 10
This is a poor attendance rate. A child with this attendance rate days could miss out on up to two years of schooling between prep and Year 10
This is a very poor attendance rate. A child with this attendance rate could miss over two and one half years of schooling between prep and Year 10
- Students need to attend school regularly to make the most of educational opportunities.
- There is a direct link between school attendance and achievement later in life.
- Poor patterns of attendance in the early years lead to poor patterns of attendance throughout the school years.
- Poor attendance makes it difficult for children to form positive relationships with their peers.
- When young people are in school every day, they are safer and less likely to be victims of crime, or become involved in crime.
With thanks to Yarra Schools Network School Participation Project