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Absence from School

What To Do When Your Child Is Absent From School

First day of absence

Contact the school office early in the day by email to and state the reason for absence and the likely date of your child’s return to school.

Return to school

Provide a written note providing the reason(s) for the absence. This note must be signed by one of the parents/carers and dated.

Sickness for several days

It would assist the school if you obtain a doctor’s certificate and provide this with your written note.

Doctor's certificate

Principals may request a doctor’s certificate if you do not provide one. Please note that in the case of frequent absences for which the explanations are questionable, Principals may decline to accept the doctor’s certificate as a valid reason for absence. In this case you would be informed of the Principal’s decision in writing.

A - Unexplained or Unjustified

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 a A – Unexplained or Unjustified. If, after seven school days an explanation has not been provided, the absence will be recorded as A Unexplained or Unjustified regardless of whether a subsequent explanation would have been acceptable to the Principal.


What To Do When Your Child Is Late To School


Recorded as a partial absence. When monitoring attendance, partial absences are totalled up and converted into the equivalent number of whole day absences. For example: A child regularly arriving to school 30 minutes late three times a week throughout the year will be deemed to have missed 10 days of school.

Written advice

When your child is late for school, please provide the school office with a written note/email explaining the lateness. The note should be signed and dated by the parent/carer. 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, after 7 school days an explanation has not been provided, the lateness will be recorded as A – Unexplained or Unjustified regardless of whether a subsequent explanation would have been acceptable to the Principal.

* All children from 6 years of age and under the age of 17 years are of Compulsory School Age and are legally required to attend school or be registered for home schooling. Alternatively, once they have completed Year 10 they may engage in full-time paid work, or part-time paid work and part-time study. Students who have completed Year 9 may complete Year 10 through an Apprenticeship or Traineeship or complete Year 10 at TAFE.


What Might Happen If My Child Continues To Have Unacceptable Absences?

It is important to understand that the Broken Bay Catholic Schools Office is required to take further action where children of Compulsory School Age have recurring number of unexplained or unacceptable absences from school. Some of the following actions may be undertaken.

  • Initial Compulsory Schooling Undertakings
  • Report(s) to Community Services (DoCS)
  • Compulsory attendance Conferences
  • Further Compulsory Schooling Undertakings
  • Applications to the Children’s Court – A Compulsory School Order
  • Prosecution in the Local Court

If all attempts by schools, the Catholic Schools Office staff and regional support staff fail to improve a student’s attendance, action can be taken in the Local Court and the result can be fines up to a maximum of $11,000.