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Attendance

8  Procedure for a school attendance officer — School attendance notices

Introduction

These procedures are intended to assist School Attendance Officers to enforce the compulsory school attendance laws of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic).

All Department Regional Directors have been appointed as School Attendance Officers by the Minister for Education. This guidance only relates to Regional Directors in their roles as School Attendance Officers.

School Attendance Officers must operate within a Code of Conduct.

This procedure applies to all registered Victorian schools.

The information below provides guidance on each of the stages of the enforcement process:

  • Stage 1 — Ensuring referral form is complete and signed by the Principal
  • Stage 2 — Sending a School Attendance Notice
  • Stage 3 — Assessing the response to a School Attendance Notice
  • Stage 4 — Deciding to issue an Infringement Notice
  • Stage 5 — Sending an Infringement Notice
  • Stage 6 — Bringing proceedings in Court

Ensuring referral form is complete and has been signed by the Principal

When a principal makes a referral to a School Attendance Officer, the form must be signed and state:

  • that the absences have been repeated (including the dates)
  • what measures to improve attendance have been tried or are unsuitable
  • that no reasonable excuse has been provided

If all this information is provided and the form has been signed by the principal, the School Attendance Officer should be satisfied with the information provided. Principals should note that the School Attendance Officer may require further information in order to form reasonable grounds for their decision. If the form is incomplete, it should be returned to the school with a request for more information. The principal must provide any additional information requested by the School Attendance Officer.

A School Attendance Officer should be satisfied that the principal has evidence to demonstrate the parent has not met their responsibilities under the Education Training and Reform Act 2006 (Vic) and that the improvement strategies have been assessed and deemed ineffective. A School Attendance Officer may also request further information from the principal to confirm this. This information will be necessary in the event a parent wishes to appeal a decision to send an Infringement Notice.

Notes:

Principals are advised that the referral should be on the official form. However if a principal makes a referral by another method and includes all the required information, School Attendance Officers can accept this referral.

Chapter 8 of the Attendance Guidelines containing procedures for school attendance officers in ensuring that a referral form is complete and signed by the Principal

Reviewed 28 May 2020

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