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It is important that parents are aware of the legal responsibility related to their child’s attendance at school. The following information outlines the legislation.

What to do When Your Child is Absent from School

  • On the first day of the absence, contact the College office early in the day either by telephone, email ( or SMS and state the reason for the absence and the likely date of your child’s return to school. Please do not delegate this responsibility unless circumstances prevent you from taking care of it personally.
  • If you are unable to telephone, email or SMS the College on the first day of absence, a written note must be supplied upon your son’s return to school.
  • If an extended absence or frequent absences are due to illness, the Principal may request a doctor’s certificate.
  • The Principal is responsible for accepting or not accepting a parent’s/carer’s explanation for their child’s absence. If an explanation is not forthcoming or is not acceptable, the absence will be recorded as Unexplained or Unjustified. If after seven school days an explanation has not been provided, the absence will be recorded as Unexplained or Unjustified regardless of whether a subsequent explanation would have been acceptable to the Principal.
  • If an unavoidable absence is planned (eg a medical, specialist or orthodontic appointment) the student’s Home Room Teacher must be informed in advance, preferably by a hand written note or email (, from the parent/carer. Students granted permission to leave the College throughout the day must sign out at the front office and will be issued with a leave pass indicating the time they left the College.

What to do When Your Child is Late to School

  • All students who arrive at school after the bell goes at 8.45 am must sign in at Student Reception as soon as they arrive at school, before they go to class. They will be issued with a late note to present to their class teacher.
  • If your son is late for school, parents/carers must provide the school office with a written note/email ( explaining the lateness in order for it to be recorded as an Explained Late Arrival. This note should be signed and dated by the parent/carer. (An appointment card from a medical provider will also be accepted).  Where possible the note should be provided when your child arrives at school. If not, the note/email should be provided on the next school day. If the lateness has not been explained by the next school day, the lateness will be recorded as Unexplained Late Arrival.
  • Students who regularly arrive late to school are monitored closely. Where a pattern of lateness continues, parents will be notified and students may be required to make up this time out of school hours.

Applications for Leave in Advance

  • A note must be submitted to your son’s Home Room Teacher at least two weeks prior to the leave, indicating the reason.
  • Leave may be granted for reasons such as:

        – a misadventure or unforeseen event

        – participation in special events not related to the school (e.g. receiving a community award)

        – domestic necessity such as serious illness of an immediate family member

        – attendance at funerals

        – recognised religious festivals or ceremonies

        – reasons which, at the Principal’s discretion, are deemed to be in the best interest of the child

  • Leave will not be granted for family holidays taken during term time. (This will be recorded as Unexplained or Unjustified Leave)
  • Only in exceptional circumstances will leave be granted without notice or retrospectively.




What Happens if my Child Continues to have Unacceptable Absences?

It is important to understand that St Edward’s College is required by law to take further action where children of compulsory school age have recurring numbers of unexplained or unacceptable absences from school.

  • Parents will be contacted if a student has three or more day’s unexplained absence from school.
  • Students at risk will attend a meeting with their parents and the Pastoral Care Co-ordinator to develop a plan for improved school attendance.
  • The student may be required to meet with College Counsellors.
  • NSW Department of Education and Communities may be notified.
  • If concerns regarding the welfare of the child exist, NSW Community Services may be notified.

Text Messages Notifying Absenteeism

Any day that a student is absent from the College unexplained, a text message will be sent to the student’s parent/carer. If parents/carers are aware of their son’s absence, they need to inform the College via SMS, email, phone or written note of his absence. If parents are unaware of their son’s absence, they should contact the College immediately.

Please be aware that under the legislation we are bound to place absences on the boys Academic Reports. And all leave will be clearly outlined including SICK and Unexplained absences.

Early Leave Pass

Students who need to leave the College due to an appointment, must provide a letter of explanation from a parent and present it to the Pastoral Care Co-ordinator before school. The Pastoral Care Co-ordinator will issue the student with a pass which should be presented to the office when the student leaves. All students must sign out at the office if they are leaving the College early.

Sport Early Leavers Pass

At the completion of Activities on Friday, students who are on Level 1 or Level 2 only and who attend Activities away from the College are permitted to travel home directly from the venue.

Eligible students must complete the Sport Early Leavers Pass which is available to download from the Student Portal and present it to Mr Murray, Friday Sport Co-ordinator, prior to the day.

Students without a Sport Early Leaver’s Pass must return to the College and attend their Home Room at the completion of the day.