Hurlstone Agricultural High School

Pro Patria

Telephone02 9829 9222


Attendance at school

The NSW Department of Education's School Attendance Policy  sets out the requirements for the attendance of students in NSW government schools.

At Hurlstone Agricultural High School, student attendance is promoted and supported by all staff to ensure our students achieve their educational best, preparing them for success in and beyond school. Attendance is actively monitored; common barriers to attendance are addressed; improvements in attendance are recognised, and early interventions are actioned.

Late arrivals

Arriving at school and class on time is expected for all students in order to:

· ensure that students do not miss out on important learning activities scheduled early in the day

· help students learn the importance of punctuality and routine

· give students time to greet their friends before class

· reduce classroom disruption.

We understand that from time to time, disruptions to public transport can impact on student arrival times. We ask that families check the Transport NSW website for the latest updates and plan student travel accordingly.

Students who arrive late must first report to the Front Office to receive a late slip and ensure their time of arrival is recorded. Lateness is recorded as a partial absence and must be explained by parents in the Sentral Student and Parent Portal.

Please note that late arrival due to transport is not considered a justified absence by the NSW Department of Education, and the school may contact you to discuss patterns of frequent late arrivals.

Absence from school

On occasion, your child may need to be absent from school. Justified reasons for student absences may include:

·         being sick, having an infectious disease such as COVID-19 or having to isolate as a close/household contact (note that the isolation period is 5 days )

·         having an unavoidable medical appointment (please try to schedule these outside of school hours where possible)

·         being required to attend a recognised religious holiday

·         exceptional or urgent family circumstance (e.g. attending a funeral).

Following an absence from school you must ensure that within 7 days you provide your child’s school with an explanation for the absence. We ask that parents provide a written explanation for any such absences via the Sentral Student and Parent Portal.

However, if the school has not received an explanation from you within 2 days, the school may contact you to discuss the absence.

Principals may decline to accept an explanation that you have provided if they do not believe the absence is in the best interest of your child. In these circumstances your child’s absence would be recorded as unjustified. When this happens the principal will discuss their decision with you and the reasons why.

Principals may request medical certificates or other documentation when frequent or long term absences are explained as being due to illness. Principals may also seek parental permission to speak with medical specialists to obtain information to collaboratively develop a health care plan to support your child. If the request is denied, the principal can record the absences as unjustified.

How attendance impacts on a student’s education

The educational impacts of lateness and repeated absence from school is shown below.

Extended Leave

School attendance is compulsory. To ensure students maxmise their educational potential and attend school every day, the NSW Department of Education encourages parents to take family holidays with their child during school vacation periods and not during the school term. 

An Application for Extended Leave - Travel  is required when a student will be absent during the school term for more than five (5) days due to family travel plans.

The completed Application for Extended Leave - Travel form must be submitted to the school in advance of any planned travel, along with any relevant travel documentation (such as an e-ticket or, in the case of non-flight bound travel within Australia only, a travel itinerary) for consideration by the school Principal. 

Schools are required to include student attendance on their published school reports each semester. Any absences not accepted by the Principal will be recorded as 'Unjustified' on the school’s attendance register and contribute to your child's total absences for the year. 

While families may still wish to proceed with travel plans which will involve a period of absence from school, it should be noted that unjustified absences that lead to the student missing any scheduled assessment tasks may  result in the student receiving a zero mark in line with the school's assessment policies.

The Principal's decision is governed by the NSW Department of Education's School Attendance Policy and Student Attendance in Government Schools Procedures PDF 327 KB document. Families are strongly encouraged to review these policy and procedures before making any travel arrangements. 

If in doubt, please contact the relevant Deputy Principal for your child's year group.