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Attendance Policy


Killara High School uses a Short Messaging Service (SMS) called SMS Absence Alerts to send parents/carers notifications of absences for their children on a daily basis.

Home Group rolls will be marked as usual and then scanned, generating a list of absences. After lunch an SMS notification will be sent to Parental Contact 1 of late arrivals. Parents can respond with a reason to this message. This will be appended to the students attendance record.

If a parent believes his or her child is at school he/she can telephone the school, at which point staff will endeavor to confirm the student’s attendance at school, communicate this to the parent and, as necessary, adjust school records, or refer the matter to the Stage Head Teacher to follow up.

The use of the SMS Absence Alerts enables the school to improve communication with parents about their children’s attendance, and provide an opportunity for parents to explain the absences with a simple and immediate SMS reply.

If you have any questions regarding the SMS Absence Alerts, please contact the School Reception on 9498 3722. Concerns regarding your child’s attendance should be directed to your child’s Stage Head Teacher – Mrs Phelan HT Stage 4 (Years 7 and 8).



All students who are late to school, for any reason must report to the Attendance Window. Unless students bring a note stating the reason for their lateness they may be given a playground detention. Persistent offenders may be placed on Level 2 of the Discipline Level system.  Parents will be notified. Students should return the completed late note, containing an explanation for lateness and bearing a parent’s signature to their Home Group teacher or Reception.

No student may enter any class late without a late note.



A student must have a valid reason before he or she will be permitted to leave school early. Medical and other appointments should be avoided during school time (including sport time).  A written request for early departure is required.

A student who wishes to leave the school before the end of the school day must bring a note to one of the Deputy Principals before school commences for the day. The note must be signed by the parent stating the reason why the student needs to leave school early.  This note must be signed by a Deputy Principal.  The student must sign out at Reception in A Block and at the same time leave the note endorsed by a Deputy Principal.  The student will only be issued with a “Leaving Early” pass if they submit a note from parents which has been endorsed by one of the Deputy Principals.



A student who is absent from school should bring a note from his or her parent or caregiver to the Home Group teacher or Reception on the day of return to school unless a text message of explanation has already been sent in response to the SMS message. This note should be dated and indicate the reason for the absence as well as the dates of the days absent.  In cases where a student is likely to be absent for three days or more, parents are asked to notify the school and leave the relevant information with one of the staff in Reception.

For planned absences of five days or more, please see Long Term Leave on the following page.

All absences will be summarised (including partial absence) and presented as part of each semester’s Student Progress Report.


No student may leave the school premises for any reason, to go home or to the local shops during lunchtime unless written permission is obtained from one of the Deputy Principals.



One feature of a four-term school year is that a vacation is provided in each of the four seasons. Parents are urged to organise family holidays to coincide with these school vacations.

Leave of absence at other times may only be granted by the Principal. Written application to the Principal should be made before any travel arrangements are made or finalised.

The Annual Awards Ceremony is held during the last school week in December. This is a most important ceremony in the school’s calendar. All students in Years 7 – 11 are expected to attend this ceremony.

Those receiving awards, be they academic, sport or service awards, will be informed in the fortnight immediately prior to the Annual Awards Ceremony. It is the school’s expectation that all students will be available to attend and participate in the ceremony.

In general, leave will not be granted to students for overseas travel prior to the end of Term 4.

Families are asked to make their summer vacation travel arrangements with this in mind. Leave will not be granted to students wishing to depart before the abovementioned date because of the unavailability of seats on flights during the first week of the vacation.

Departure before the end of term or year will disadvantage students as scheduled lessons, assessment programs and other school activities are conducted up to the final day of each term.



Please note there have been significant changes to the DoE Compulsory School Attendance policy. The main changes are in relation to requests for exemption from school for family holidays during term time. This practice is not advisable and with the changes to the policy there are significant implications for your child’s learning.

“From the beginning of 2015, family holidays and travel are no longer considered under the Exemption from School – Procedures. Travel outside of vacation period is not counted as an absence.” (Student Attendance in Government Schools Procedures 2015).

The absence will appear on a student’s report which it has not been done previously. It will also affect a student’s attendance percentage.

  1. Students seeking leave from school for periods of 5 days or more for any reason (including school or Department endorsed activities) are required to bring a note from their parents or carers to the Principal. Approval of leave may only be granted by the Principal. The note seeking leave should be handed in at the attendance window in Reception and allowing a minimum of 5 working days for the application to be processed.
  2. Where leave is approved, a Long Term Leave Application form endorsed by the Principal will be provided to the student.
  3. The student has responsibility for approaching each of his/her teachers who will note on the form all work and assessment tasks that will be missed or require completion during the leave period.
  4. The completed Long Term Leave Application form must be returned to Reception for checking and copying prior to departure. The original form will be retained by the student containing all work and assessment tasks required for completion during the period of leave.


For student leave of more than 15 days, special conditions apply. Parents/carers should contact the school to enable relevant documents to be completed and approval sought.



School leavers must bring a note from their parents indicating their intention to leave, the reason and, if known, which school they will be attending. This note is to be presented to Reception, at least one week prior to leaving. The student is then required to complete a Leaver’s Form.  Teachers and Head Teachers will initial opposite their name on this form to indicate the student has returned all the text books, library books, sports uniforms, locker key, laptop (if appropriate), etc., and has paid any outstanding contributions.  The completed form should be returned to Reception.


Please click on the link below, should you wish to print a copy of our Attendance Policy;

> attendance-policy (pdf 67 KB)