School attendance - information for parents

Every day matters for your child’s learning. Parents play an important role in ensuring students get to school and stay in school every day.

The more time your child attends school the greater their opportunity to learn, create social connections and improve their wellbeing. 

Why attendance matters

Your child may fall behind in their subjects and this can have an impact on their learning in the long term.

Missing school for students means missing assignments, time with friends, an important math lesson or getting picked for a sports team.

All Australian school-age children are legally required to attend school every day. Read more about compulsory school attendance.

Children from Warilla North Public School share why they like to get to school on time.

[Uplifting music plays]

Child 1: Why is it good to come to school on time?

Child 2: If I go to school on time then I don't miss out on anything.

On-screen text: Don't miss out!

Child 3: I get to school on time so I don't miss out on fun games with my friends.

On-screen text: Fun!

Child 4: I like getting to school on time because it makes me happy.

On-screen text: Happy!

Child 5: Last year me and my friends were in the same class but this year we got split up so I like to come to school on time so I can hang out with them.

On-screen text: Friends!

Child 6: I get to school on time because it's a good start to the day.

On-screen text: A good start to the day!

[Child 1 cheers]

On-screen text: Warilla North Public School logo with motto: Be Respectful. Be Responsible. Be Safe.

What you can do

Building positive attendance habits

You can help build positive attendance habits by: 

  • helping your child learn the importance of punctuality and routine

  • making sure your child arrives on time from the start of the school day, ready to take part 

  • reducing disruption to learning where you can, by planning any necessary appointments outside of school time 

  • contacting your school to explain any absences (within 7 days of the first day of any absence) 

  • making sure any holidays or medical appointments are taken outside school hours

  • working with the school to encourage and support regular attendance. 

Reasons for missing school

Being absent, late or leaving early

  • If your child misses school for any reason, please contact the school within 7 days to explain why.

  • If your child needs to arrive late or leave early, please notify the school.

  • If you have difficulty getting your child to school on time every day, please also contact your school. School staff are here to support you and your child to help them come to school.

Getting your school’s help and support

If you are concerned about your child's attendance at school or any other issues that may affect their attendance please speak with the school. It is important that schools and families work together to find solutions to improve attendance.

Among the support available see below for tips on helping address child’s anxiety about attending school.

Every parent has trouble getting their child out of bed and off to school now and then.

However, if your child is regularly asking to stay home and seems upset or worried about school, it could be a sign of a bigger problem if your child: 

  • seems upset or worried about going to school 

  • refuses to go to school, and always asks to stay home 

  • has a history of school refusal in the past. 

School refusal is different to ‘wagging’ or ‘jigging’ because it comes from a child’s anxiety about school.

Many children and young people will express a reluctance to go to school at different times. For a small number of these children and young people the difficulties around attending school escalates to become school refusal.

School refusal occurs across all ages, genders, ethnic groups, and income groups.

Talk to your child about school refusal

If you are dealing with school refusal, try speaking to your child about what’s been happening. Check out our tips for figuring out what’s up with your child. 

Talk to your school about school refusal

Work with the school and your child. It will give your child the best chance of overcoming their anxieties about school. Focus on trying to make school a structured and predictable part of your teen’s life.

You could talk to your child's teacher, year coordinator, deputy principal or the Wellbeing staff. 

Seeking professional help

Make an appointment with your GP. The GP may refer your child to a mental health professional such as a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist. A mental health professional will help your child to learn skills to deal with their anxiety about going to school. 

More resources to help you


  • Student management and wellbeing

Business Unit:

  • Communication and Engagement
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