Under Queensland law, students are expected to be participating in normal compulsory school activities. If they are absent from school for a period of time longer than ten days, it calls into question whether a student is meeting the requirements of school attendance for that year.
There are many reasons why a student might need an extended absence from school such as illness (with a medical certificate after three days), unusual work experience arrangements, attending school sporting events or extenuating family circumstances. This is not an exhaustive list.
However, the Queensland Education Department states that holidays during term time should be actively discouraged.
If your child will be absent from school for an extended period (i.e. 11 consecutive days or longer) you will need to complete an “Exemption for Compulsory School Participation” form and submit that form to your Head of School for approval with as much prior warning to the absence as possible.
If the form is approved it means that the child’s absence will not be considered as part of their overall absence allocation, which is ten days in the calendar year. It will also mean that the child’s teacher will construct a learning program for the child while they are absent.
The forms are available from Main Admin. Please complete one form for each student who will be absent.
Without an approved application, the days that the student is away will be recorded as a normal absence and will contribute to the total ten-day absence allocation.
Unfortunately, in nearly all circumstances, holidays will not be considered as a valid reason to be absent from school and, as a result, the form and the absence will not be granted an exemption. This doesn’t mean you can’t go on holidays but while your child is absent it will be recorded as a normal absence.
This may come as unwelcome news to some and I understand that sometimes work schedules do not coincide with school schedules. Let’s keep in mind though that we are spoiled with thirteen weeks of school holidays per year. Except under very special circumstances, this should be enough time to make the family vacation work.
Mrs Mitchell wrote “every day counts” in her blog late October 2019. She stated, “The building blocks for a great education begin with students coming to school each and every day. If students miss school regularly, they miss out on learning the fundamental skills that will set them up for success in the later years of school. There is no safe number of days for missing school. Each day missed puts children behind and this can affect their educational outcomes and their social connectedness. Each missed day is associated with progressively lower achievement in numeracy, writing and reading.”
We care deeply about your child’s progress here at GCC and we know you do too. Please help us to provide the best educational environment for your child so they can flourish. Making regular school attendance a priority is an important way you can help with this endeavour.
Mike Curtis, Principal