School attendance is important as it maximises life opportunities for children and young people by providing them with education and support networks. Positive engagement with schooling enhances academic and wellbeing outcomes for children and young people.


In accordance with the Education Training and Reform Act 2006 (Vic.) (the Act) and the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic.), school attendance is compulsory for children and young people aged from 6 to 17 years unless an exemption from attendance has been granted through Exemption from School Attendance or Enrolment, Department of Education (DE).

Whilst ensuring student attendance at school is the legal obligation of parents/guardians/carers, supporting students to attend school each day is the shared responsibility of all parents/guardians/carers, students, the school, and the wider community.


Attending school every school day for the whole day enables students to participate in the school’s educational program as well as develop their social skills. Regular attendance enables the school to:

  • plan an organised educational program that is delivered in a consistent way and has continuity
  • facilitate shared student learning experiences that support the educational program
  • monitor student progress and adjust the educational program to meet student needs.

Roles and responsibilities for school attendance


Parents/guardians/carers must enrol a child of compulsory school age at a registered school and ensure the child attends at all times when the school is open for instruction or the student is registered for home schooling. For absences where there is no exemption in place, the parent/guardian/carer must promptly provide an explanation on each occasion to the school.


Students are expected to attend the school in which they are enrolled during normal school hours

every day of term, unless there is an approved exemption from school attendance for the student,

or the student is registered for home schooling.


The principal must ensure that:

  • the school has an attendance policy and procedures that outline the processes in place to implement this policy.
  • attendance records are maintained – daily attendance of each student enrolled at the school is recorded at least twice a day in primary schools and for every class in secondary schools (and
  • that records are kept in accordance with applicable recordkeeping standards, including the Public Record Office Victoria Recordkeeping Standards)
  • any absences of a student from school, including classes, are identified reasons for each student’s absence are provided and recorded
  • explanations for absences that are provided are a reasonable excuse for the purposes of their responsibilities under the Act
  • any unexplained absences of a student are followed up by contacting the parent/guardian/carer of the student as soon as practicable on the same day
  • parents/guardians/carers are notified promptly regarding a student’s unsatisfactory school or class attendance. If, upon being notified of their child’s absence or contacted to seek an explanation, a parent/guardian/carer reports their child was not living with them on that day, the school should ensure they notify another parent/guardian/carer who was responsible for ensuring the child attended school on the relevant day/s
  • if contact cannot be made with the relevant parent/guardian/carer, contact should be made with the emergency contact/s nominated on the student’s file held by the school
  • information regarding a student’s unsatisfactory attendance at school or classes is recorded on their student file
  • parents/guardians/carers are informed of their responsibilities around attendance
  • initiatives are implemented which aim to promote parental/guardian/carer awareness of the importance of children attending school every day

In 2024 we hope to see attendance improve for many students and it is important that families understand we have an obligation to follow up attendance that dips below 90%.  Ideally all our students will far exceed this percentage but we know that from time to time children are unwell. You can regularly check your child’s attendance by logging into your PAM (Parent Access Module) account.  Attendance is also displayed on middle and end of year student reports.

MACS Attendance policy 2024