Government school student attendance 2017

This bulletin was originally published 13 March 2018.

Image: 2017 student attendance bulletin


Student attendance has been demonstrated to be linked to student academic outcomes, although the nature of the link is complex. CESE’s Government School Student Attendance 2017 (Semester 1) bulletin summarises attendance rates by:

  • student level of education
  • remoteness
  • Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students
  • scholastic year and gender.

CESE’s analysis of Semester 1 2017 attendance data indicates that the average attendance rate for NSW government schools was 92.1 per cent, but varied widely across a number of contextual factors.

Main findings

  • Attendance rates were generally high for primary students. The average rate was 93.9 per cent in 2017, 4.4 percentage points higher than the average rate for secondary students.
  • Across years of schooling, attendance rates decreased at a much slower rate in primary years (drop of 1 percentage point from Kindergarten to Year 6), than in secondary years (drop of 5 percentage points from Year 7 to Year 10).
  • There was more variability in average attendance rates across secondary schools than primary schools. Median secondary (non-selective) school attendance rates ranged from 86.2 per cent in North West NSW to 93.5 per cent in North Sydney.
  • There remains a sizable gap of 7.1 percentage points in average attendance rates between schools in major metropolitan cities and those in remote / very remote areas, though this gap has somewhat narrowed since 2015.
  • The gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students’ attendance rates has decreased from 7.1 percentage points in 2011 to 6.4 percentage points in 2017.
  • The gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students’ attendance rates in primary years was 4.1 percentage points. In the secondary years, this gap was more than double at 10.1 percentage points.
  • Aboriginal students’ attendance rate at remote / very remote schools increased 4.3 percentage points since 2006.

For more information

  • To access data, visit the NSW Education Data Hub.
  • To read our other statistical publications.
  • The Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation is committed to making online content accessible to the widest possible audience. If you require an accessible version of a PDF published prior to 2018 please contact us.


  • Educational data
  • Statistical

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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