2022 Semester 1 student attendance fact sheet

This fact sheet was originally published 3 May 2023.


This fact sheet provides an overview of student attendance of NSW Government schools from Kindergarten to Year 12 in Semester 1, 2022. It contains information on different cohorts of students, including observations on student attendance by multiple education levels, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status and geolocations.

There are two different measures of student attendance: attendance rate and attendance level. The attendance rate is the percentage of days students attended school, compared to student enrolled days. The attendance level is the proportion of students attending 90% or more of the time. This measure was introduced in 2018 and is more variable than the attendance rate as it is binary (that is, a student attending less than 90% of the time or a student attending 90% or more of the time). For most students, their attendance rate is concentrated around 90%. Therefore, a small shift in their attendance will likely mean changes in their attendance position to below / at or above the 90% threshold, resulting in a larger variation in the attendance level.

The attendance rates and levels in the fact sheet are different to attendance targets reported by the NSW Department of Education and the nationally published My School figures. The attendance calculation methodology was revised in 2020 to align with the third edition of ACARA’s ‘National standards for student attendance data and reporting’, differing to the target calculation methodology developed in 2018. The nationally published My School figures do not include Kindergarten, Year 11 and Year 12 students.

While there were no COVID-19 lockdowns or learning from home periods in Semester 1, 2022, the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community was much greater than in 2021 and it continued to cause large variability in attendance data. All students, staff and visitors were encouraged to remain at home and only attend school when symptom-free. Students were advised to stay home despite a negative COVID-19 test result if COVID-19 symptoms persisted or until a medical certificate was provided to the school to confirm that symptoms were attributed to another diagnosis. Please refer to the Advice for families for more information. Absence reasons were analysed in this fact sheet to show causes of decline in student attendance. Furthermore, the number of absence days for schools that were non-operational due to floods in Semester 1 2022 and the number of weekly COVID-19 and influenza cases were analysed to provide contextual factors that may have contributed to the decline in attendance. In this fact sheet, student attendance data for 2020 is excluded due to the impact of COVID-19. Please refer to Effects of COVID-19 on attendance during Semester 1 2020 for more information.

For more information


  • Educational data
  • Statistical
  • Student engagement and wellbeing
  • Using data to inform practice

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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