Parents to push school attendance
PARENTS must change their attitude towards school attendance – and fast – if they want to see an improvement in the “alarming” number of avoidable absences at Fraser Coast schools.
That was the plain and simple message driven home in Maryborough yesterday at the launch of ambitious new campaign, Every Day Counts.
According to government figures, Maryborough and Hervey Bay high schools have an average student attendance rate of 87 per cent.
Every Day Counts is aimed at raising this to 100 per cent.
“For every 100 students, a 13 per cent absence rate equals about 130 absences every fortnight,” said guest speaker and former school principal Leoll Barron.
“In this situation it is possible that half of the student population is missing two days a fortnight or one day a week ... that is 40 sickies per year.”
Backed by principals, teachers and councillors, the campaign is driven by the Maryborough City and Small Schools Education Cluster.
Mr Barron said parents needed to be “firm but fair” to lift the attendance rate.
“What message are you sending to your children about school and their education if you allow them to stay home to celebrate a birthday or to go shopping?
“Next time your child wants to stay home ask yourself whether the absence is avoidable – help them to develop the skills to become a good citizen and a valuable community member with a good work ethic.”
Aldridge High school captain Georgina Gott said she encouraged her fellow school students to follow her lead.
“I have not missed a single day of school so far this year,” she said.