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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.

Early Leave Pass

The College encourages parents not to make appointments to see doctors etc during school hours, but we understand that this is not always avoidable. If a student is required to leave school throughout the day, we ask parents to write a note addressed to the Pastoral Leader outlining the reasons for leaving early. The student presents this to their Pastoral Leader in the morning and they will be issued with an Early Leavers Pass. The student is required to bring the Early Leavers Pass to student reception at the time he needs to sign out and we ask that parents make arrangements to collect their son from student reception. We have a duty of care to all students and no student in Years 7-11 will be permitted to leave the school grounds to catch a public bus at any time throughout the day. Year 12 students who drive to school are required to follow the same arrangements regarding the Early Leavers Pass to attend an appointment and sign out at reception prior to leaving the College grounds. Year 12 students who have a flexible timetable, still need to sign in and out at student reception but do not need a note from their parents.

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 Director of Pastoral Care and Wellbeing, 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.