Your child's absence from school

This page has information on student attendance and the actions taken if your child is absent.

It is compulsory to send your child to school. 

Your child must attend school from the age of six until they complete Year 10 and turn 17. 

Read more about the age your child attends school.

If your child is sick or unable to attend for other reasons, you must contact your school and let them know why your child is absent. 

If your child does not attend school

If your child is not regularly attending school, you can be referred to an attendance and truancy officer.

The attendance and truancy officer will take the following steps:

  1. You will be issued with a compulsory conference notice. A compulsory conference is a meeting with an attendance and truancy officer to create an attendance plan to help your child attend school regularly. This meeting may also include a representative from your child's school.
  2. If you do not attend the compulsory conference without a reasonable excuse and your child is still not attending school regularly, you may be issued with a compliance notice. 
  3. If your child continues not to regularly attend school, an infringement notice may be issued. 
  4. You may be prosecuted if your child then continues not to attend school.
  5. If you live in an area where the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure (SEAM) operates, your welfare payments can be suspended if your child does not attend school regularly after an attendance plan is agreed.

Go to the Australian Government's Indigenous Affairs website for more information about SEAM.

Local patrols

Attendance and truancy officers conduct regular patrols in public places or communities during school hours.

As part of the patrol, children of compulsory school age are approached and asked why they are not attending school.

A leave pass or student identification may be sought by the officer to verify the child’s identity.

Remote school attendance officers

In some remote communities school attendance officers also help to ensure your child goes to school.

School attendance officers may be mums, dads, caregivers, aunties, uncles or grandparents from your local community who can help with any of the following:

  • talking to you and your child about the importance of going to school
  • working with you to help get your child to school
  • providing practical support to you like driving your child to school, helping to organise school lunches, uniforms, homework and after-school care
  • working with your child's school to ensure your child is at school and letting you know if your child does not attend
  • rewarding your child if they go to school.

Go to the Australian Government's Indigenous Affairs website for more about getting your child to school.

Last updated: 06 July 2017