Regular school attendance will help your child to gain the skills and knowledge needed for success both now and later in life.

Attending school every day helps your child to make steady progress with their learning. Your child will also be able to establish firm friendships by participating with others in enjoyable activities.

What age should your child attend school?

  • In Tasmania, children and young people are enrolled at school (Prep) or an approved home education program from the year after they turn 5.
  • Children can also attend Kindergarten from 4 years of age.
  • Young people need to stay in education or training until they finish Year 12, or receive a Certificate III, or reach the new minimum leaving age of 18.
  • Year 10 students during 2019 are the first group of young people who will need to meet this increased minimum leaving requirement.
  • For information about school starting and leaving ages, and exemption from attending school, see the Starting and Leaving Ages parent fact sheet.

When can your child be authorised to be absent from school?

  • Changes have been made to provide certainty for schools, parents and students as to the reasons a child can be authorised to be absent from school.
  • There are specific reasons that a child can be authorised to be absent from school. This is explained in the Authorised Absences in Tasmanian Government Schools parent fact sheet.

How can you help your child get the most from their education?

  • By talking to your child about what’s happening at school you can help to support your child’s interest and confidence in learning.
  • By minimising absences to give your child the most opportunities to learn. This could include making medical and other appointments outside school hours and arranging family holidays in scheduled school holiday breaks.

What should you do if your child has to stay away from school?

  • If your child has to be away from school, it is important to tell the school and provide the reason for your child’s absence as soon as possible. You can:
    • send a note or email to the school
    • telephone the school office
    • visit the school.
  • The principal may ask for a medical certificate or statutory declaration to explain absences for illness after a child has been absent for a total of more than 5 days in any school year, but this is only required if the principal has requested it.
  • The principal may also request evidence for other authorised absences; such as evidence of participation in an event or recognised learning experience, or a statutory declaration from a parent. This is only required if the principal has requested it.

What happens if my child isn’t attending school?

  • Schools will follow up non-attendance, which could include sending letters to let you know how many unauthorised absences your child has during the year.
  • Schools will work closely with parents to support a child’s attendance at school to maximise their learning. They can provide options for continued learning where illness is resulting in absences.
  • There is also a new compulsory conciliation process to help resolve issues that are causing a child not to attend school.
  • For more information, see the Information for Parents on compulsory conciliation on the Office of the Education Registrar’s website.

How will attendance be recorded?

  • As students transition back to school based learning, schools will record attendance as they normally do for students who are expected to attend school.  Where a student is unable to attend  school, due to being unwell, parents are still required to let the school know. For students who are medically vulnerable, and where they have provided the school with the appropriate medical advice, new procedures have been put in place to record the attendance of students that are learning at home.
  • Students that do not attend school or who are not learning at home due to being medically vulnerable will be marked absent. To assist in the transition back to school based learning formal procedures relating to explained non-attendance will be paused for the remainder of Term 2.
  • Parents/carers are encouraged to work with their local school to support their child to transition back to school based learning.

Where can I get more information?

  • If you want your child to attend school but need help to do this, your child’s school would really like to talk to you about what help you need.
  • Please contact your child’s school for more information.