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The Rivers Secondary College, Lismore High Campus

The Rivers Secondary College, Lismore High Campus

Success with Pride

Telephone02 6621 5185

Attendance at School

In New South Wales, all children from six years of age are legally required to attend school. After you complete Year 10 and until you turn 17 years of age, you have the following alternative options. You may be in:

  • full-time further education and training (e.g. TAFE, traineeship, apprenticeship);
  • full-time, paid employment for an average of 25 hours per week; or
  • A combination of both of the above.

You are expected to attend all school activities, on time. Regular attendance helps you:

  • develop the skills needed to access the world of work and other opportunities
  • to learn the importance of punctuality and routine
  • Make and keep friendships.

Truancy both whole day and of individual lessons is a serious issue. As well as disrupting their learning, it also means that the student’s safety is at-risk because they are without adult supervision at a time when their parents/carers expect that they do have supervision. The parent/carer of that student will then be contacted to make them aware that the student is missing.

Students who truant receive campus consequences. Campus consequences include Deputies Detention supervised by the Deputy Principals and faculty consequences from the areas where lessons were missed. In serious cases the campus will refer the student to the Home School Liaison Officer (HSLO) to assist the student, family and campus work towards solutions to the serious attendance and safety problem.

Student Absences

A note from a parent/carer must be handed in to explain any absence from campus. The note is to be given to student services on the first day back after an absence.

The note should:

  • Be dated with the date of writing
  • Indicate the student’s first name, surname and Roll Call
  • State the date of the absence
  • Give a definite reason for the absence
  • Be signed by a parent/carer

When a student knows in advance they will be absent, the parent/carer should notify you in advance with a note stating all the above information. All information provided to the campus to explain an absence is strictly confidential.

Explaining Absences and Granting Leave

The campus must follow strict guidelines for recording student attendance and explaining all absences. The campus can only grant leave for:

  • Sickness
  • Leave which cannot be made outside campus time

All other reason can be considered unacceptable and may, by law, be recorded as an unacceptable absence. If in doubt make a notation on the student’s note and it will be directed to the Head Teacher Secondary Studies or a Deputy Principal.

Late Arrivals by Students

Punctuality is a behaviour respected in many situations both social and work related. At times lateness by students is unavoidable, however, a pattern of persistent lateness is a cause for concern that the campus, in partnership with students and parents will take measures to address.

All late students must hand in a note from their parent/carer explaining their lateness.

Students arriving at campus after 9.15am must report to the Student Office in the Administration Office. All late arrivals, which are not accompanied by a note of explanation from a parent/carer, can appear on the student's report as unexplained absences.

Students Leaving Campus Early

If a student has to leave campus during the day because they have an appointment which cannot be attended out of hours, a note from their parent/guardian must be to be taken to the Student Office on that day.

This note should:

  • Be dated with the date of writing
  • Indicate the student’s first name, surname
  • State the time the student will leave campus
  • State the time the child will return to campus
  • Give a definite reason for the absence
  • Be signed by a parent/guardian

The student will be issued with an Early Leaver’s Pass. Students must retain their Early Leavers Pass for use later in the day.

Early Leaver’s Pass is part of a state-wide program to ensure that students attend the campus every day it is open. These passes are another example of how we work together to protect and educate our young people. It should not be seen as a threat or violation of personal rights but rather an act of caring about our young people.

Students who are not at campus during campus hours can and are approached by Home School Liaison Officers (HSLO), police or teachers to explain why they are not at campus. The Early Leaver’s Pass shows that parents and the campus know the student’s whereabouts.

Note: It is usual that the Deputy Principals or Head Teachers to do a random check selection of requests to leave campus early.

Student Illness/ Injury

Students who become ill during the day should obtain a note from their class teacher and then report directly to the Administration Office.

Under no circumstances are students permitted to enter sick bay without permission. A First Aid Officer provides First Aid if required.

Students Leaving Our Campus Permanently

Students who are leaving our campus or transfer to another school should arrange an interview with the Deputy Principal in charge of their year group. After the interview, the student must return their textbooks, any equipment on loan from the campus and complete a leaver form obtainable at the Administration Office. All students leaving campus should make sure that they return, to the campus, property that they have on loan. This includes library books and sporting equipment. Students also need to ensure that any subject costs have been paid.

When should I contact the school if I know my student will be absent?

Contact the school immediately on the day, if you know your student will be absent on 02 6621 2122 and provide a reason on why they are absent. You can also contact the school by email or by fax on 02 6622 2940.

What if you have to been away from school?

If you have to be absent from school, your parents must tell the school and provide a reason for your absence. This can be in the form of a note or by phone explanation to a school attendance officer.

Only a small number of reasons for absence may be accepted by the Principal. For example, if you:

  • have to go to a special religious ceremony
  • are required to attend a serious or urgent family situation (e.g. a funeral)
  • are too sick to go to school or have an infectious illness.

What might happen if you continue to have unacceptable absences?

It is important to understand that the Department of Education and Communities may take further action where children of compulsory school age have recurring numbers of unexplained or unacceptable absences from school. In the first case there will be a referral to the Home School Liaison Officer (HSLO) for investigation.

What happens if a student truants class or is late to school?

Any unexplained absence from either class or school will be treated as truancy. Parents will be informed and action will be taken.

Lateness is recorded as partial absence and must be explained by parents or carers in the same way as other forms of absence - promptly and within seven school days to the school.