Attendance and absences
Students must attend school regularly so they can achieve their educational best and increase their career and life options.
In NSW, all children from the age of 6 are legally required to attend school or be registered for home schooling through the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). All students must complete Year 10, or its equivalent.
Young people below the age of 17 who have completed Year 10 must be:
in school, or registered for home schooling
in approved education or training, such as a traineeship, apprenticeship or TAFE
in full-time paid employment (average 25 hours a week)
in a combination of work, education and/or training (average of 25 hours a week combined).
Students 17 years and over who are enrolled in school must attend school regularly to meet HSC course requirements.
As a parent or carer, you are responsible for ensuring your child attends school every day when they are of compulsory school age. You must explain all absences to the school within 7 days.
For more information about compulsory school attendance, visit:
Research indicates that:
- Regular attendance at school is fundamental to student learning. Students who attend school regularly are more likely to achieve educational success and increase their career and life options.
- Student attendance has been identified as an important aspect of a student’s wellbeing and failure to receive an education has been identified as a risk of harm factor.
- Poor patterns of attendance place students at risk of not achieving their educational, social and psychological potential and disadvantage them in the quality of choices they are able to make in later life situations.
- Communities benefit from students who regularly attend school and are achieving. These benefits include greater student safety, community wellbeing, and a sense of connectedness for all.
- Schools, families, and communities can work together to send a strong collective message about the importance of going to school.
- Promoting the benefits of regular attendance to students, teachers, early childhood centre staff, parents, and community groups will help create a culture where regular school attendance is the norm.