Government school student attendance 2016
This bulletin was originally published 2 May 2017.
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 2016 bulletin summarises attendance rates by:
- student level of education
- Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students
- school term
- selective school status and FOEI.
CESE’s analysis of Semester 1 2016 attendance data indicates that the average attendance rate for NSW government schools was 92.2 per cent.
Attendance rate and student level of education
Over the last ten years attendance rates for primary students have been consistently higher than secondary students. Both primary and secondary attendance remained constant between 2015 and 2016 at 93.9 per cent and 89.0 per cent respectively.
Attendance rate by remoteness
In 2016 the attendance rate was 92.8 per cent, marginally higher compared with 2015. In contrast, the attendance rate at provincial schools decreased by 0.3 percentage points in 2016 to 90.4 per cent. This resulted in a larger gap in attendance rates between metropolitan and provincial schools at 2.4 percentage points. Attendance at schools in remote/very remote NSW declined 0.7 percentage points from 86.1 per cent in 2015 to 85.4 per cent in 2016.
Attendance rate and Aboriginal students
Attendance rate by term
Attendance rate by selective school status and FOEI
Attendance rates are higher at schools with lower FOEI scores (i.e. more advantaged schools). Excluding fully selective schools, attendance rates are affected more by the FOEI score than by whether the school is selective or not.
For FOEI scores up to 90, average attendance rates were highest amongst fully selective schools. These schools recorded attendance rates 3.8 percentage points higher than non-selective schools in the same band, and 4.2 percentage points higher than partially selective schools. For FOEI scores of 90 to 110 and 150 or more, attendance rates for non-selective schools and partially selective schools were very similar. Partially selective schools with FOEI scores of 110 to 150 recorded average attendance rates of 2.6 percentage points.
Implications for educators
Recording and monitoring student attendance allows educators to identify students who have low attendance, and are at risk of falling behind. Tracking student attendance is also a legislative requirement and part of every school’s duty of care. Attendance data is important because it provides a measure of students’ engagement – which is critical for evaluating school and student performance.