Perfect Presence Pilot Program

The Perfect Presence Pilot Program was launched in Semester 2, 2021, and is a targeted, early intervention program for students identified at risk of disengaging from school and their learning.

Program Aim

The program aims to support these students so that they feel stronger connections to school and learning and are supported to build on personal and social capabilities.

Research tells us that increased engagement can lead to increased student level attendance rates and reduce days lost to suspension rate. The pilot has been designed to help us measure the impact of engagement programs, in line with the NSW Plan for Public Education and Closing the Gap targets.

Through the program we want to see:

  • ongoing improvements to student attendance and reduced suspension rates
  • students building positive relationships with others; and
  • students reporting a greater sense of belonging to their school, culture and community. 

Program Description

The program provides funding for external providers to work with schools over one to two terms to co-design and deliver pre-approved programs and activities that will best meet the skills and capability needs and interests of the participating students.

Perfect Presence has a strong focus on outcomes for students. The program focuses on improving short, medium, and long-term behavioural, emotional and/or cognitive outcomes for students.

Students identify goals that they want to achieve during their time in the program, with a strong focus on building their personal and social capabilities. 

Target Cohort

Students participating in the program must be in years 8, 9 or 10 and either have: 

  • an attendance rate between 70-90% and/or 
  • between 2 and 4 suspensions. 

Eligible schools

System level attendance and suspension data has been used to identify eligible schools within select principal networks, that have high levels of student disengagement. 

From 2024, there have been some changes to these principal networks. The schools who have been impacted are still eligible to participate in the program. 

Sometimes there may be a school who sits outside of the selected principal networks, that demonstrates a significant need for the program, based on their student cohort. The inclusion of additional schools may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Outcomes and Impact

The program contributes to the Department’s Plan for NSW Public Education, connecting students with the support they need for wellbeing and development, so they are better motivated to attend school and are better equipped to learn.

The program is also directly linked to outcome 5 of Closing the Gap to increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attaining year 12 or equivalent qualifications to 96%. 

The department, schools and providers use the Outcomes Measurement Framework to monitor and evaluate the impact of the program.


Please contact the Perfect Presence team for more information or support, via



  • Early childhood education
  • Teaching and learning


  • Behaviour
  • High school

Business Unit:

  • Teaching, Learning and Student Wellbeing
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