Department of Education Media Release
21 November 2012
Deputy Secretary Department of Education
Tasmania performs very well in relation to student attendance compared to other jurisdictions, particularly in relation to the early years.
The 2012 Report on Government Services shows that Tasmania has recorded either top or equal top for all year levels (year 1 to year 10) across other states and territories, apart from year 9 (Tasmania recorded equal second) and year 10 (Tasmania recorded equal third).
Ensuring children attend school is a shared responsibility. Parents have an important role in prioritising school attendance, and schools support with appropriate curriculum and supportive school environments.
The department continues to work on this important issue and has a range of strategies for following up unexplained absences and attendance issues.
At a school-level, there are various strategies for following up unexplained absences and attendance issues including phoning home, using SMS and social workers.
Prosecution of parents is a last resort.
There is always room for improvement and a more systematic approach to school attendance will benefit all students including students at risk.
The department has reviewed the legal issues and options around unexplained absenteeism in order to work with parents to increase their accountability in this area.
It is parents’ legal responsibility to ensure their children attend school.
Children deserve an education – it is through education that children can have a positive future.
Schools record attendance data regularly and the Department also monitors attendance data throughout the year.