Developing improvement measures for improving school attendance

System-negotiated, school-determined and personalised attendance targets can help to measure the impact of initiatives to improve student attendance.

When establishing improvement measures aligned with strategic directions, your school will include appropriate system-negotiated targets for student attendance.

School-determined targets may also be developed to support the achievement of your strategic directions, depending on your school context, and considering the significant impact of school attendance on student achievement.

System-negotiated, school-determined and personalised attendance targets may be useful to measure the impact of initiatives that support student engagement and participation. If setting personalised attendance targets to support students with complex health care needs, be mindful of each individual's circumstances to ensure targets are realistic and attainable.

See examples of improvement measures for student attendance in the Strategic Improvement Plan samples, ‘SIP Sample H - Small School 2’ and ‘SIP Sample F - Schools for Specific Purposes 2’.


Configuring system-negotiated targets

  • System-negotiated targets for attendance can be used as an improvement measure in any strategic direction.
  • Most schools will have a system-negotiated target to increase the proportion of students attending more than 90% of the time.
  • Some schools will have a system-negotiated target to decrease the proportion of students attending school less than 80% of the time.

See the following examples of configuring system-negotiated targets for attendance.

Option 1

Schools may state the baseline and agreed range of the system-negotiated target, for example:

  • Increase the proportion of students attending >90% of the time to be at or above the lower bound system-negotiated target of 91.1%.
  • Decrease the proportion of students attending <80% of the time, achieving the lower bound system-negotiated target of 82% or above.

Option 2

Schools may state the agreed proportional improvement as their system-negotiated target, for example:

  • Increase the proportion of students attending > 90% of the time by 2%.
  • Decrease the proportion of students attending < 80% of the time by 3%.

More information about system-negotiated targets are provided in the system-negotiated targets table.


Configuring school-determined targets

The School Attendance Summary provides you with data that informs your judgement when developing school-determined targets for attendance. Use the charts to understand attendance rates and trends at your school by scholastic year, semester, and principal network over time. See these examples of configuring school-determined targets for attendance.

  • All students achieve their Personal Learning and Support Plan (PLSP) goals in wellbeing, attendance and behaviour.
  • Wellbeing, behaviour and attendance plans are embedded practice and achieved for all students.
  • School Excellence Framework indicates improvement in Learning, Learning culture, Attendance from sustaining and growing to excelling.


Reflective questions

  • Have we considered aligning system-negotiated and school-determined targets for attendance and wellbeing in a high impact evidence-based initiative?
  • Are high expectations for attendance reflected in our improvement measures for all our students?
  • How can improvement measures for attendance be positioned to be inclusive of all students, including those from vulnerable equity groups and students with targeted intervention funding?
  • Are there different student attendance outcome measures for equity groups or targeted students in our school? If so, in which areas and for which groups of students? Does this indicate a need for reflection on our practices and initiatives?
  • How do we identify and monitor student attendance data at the universal, targeted and intensive level?
  • How do we identify, monitor and prioritise early interventions for students at risk of developing non-attendance?

Learn more

Find out more about School Excellence in Action.

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