At times throughout the school week families may need to authorise a student to leave the school grounds or supervision of the school during school hours. In this instance it is a requirement under the New South Wales Department of Education’s School Attendance Policy that the school provide a formal leave pass for the student to carry with them. This leave pass assists teachers, attendance officers, police officers and community members (such as bus drivers) to identify students who have permission to be out of school during school hours.
According to advice from the Department of Education for parents, justified reasons for student absences (whole day or partial day) may include:
- Being sick, or having an infectious disease
- Having an unavoidable medical appointment (Please note, the principal/school is entitled to seek further information regarding appointments such as the name of the dentist or doctor to justify the absence)
- Being required to attend a recognised religious holiday
- Exceptional or urgent family circumstances (e.g. attending a funeral)
Principals may decline to accept an explanation that you have provided if they do not believe the absence is in the best interests of the child. In these circumstances, for a whole day absence your child’s absence would be recorded as unjustified, and in the case of a partial day absence, the school would not provide a formal leave pass permitting the absence. Further information is available through the link at the end of this note.
Students requiring to leave sports venues prior to the end of the day are required to obtain an official sign out pass prior to leaving school. This is to be done prior to, but no later than 11:10am on a Wednesday morning (unless there are rare and exceptional circumstances). This can be done via a signed note or phone call from home with a valid reason. Staff can then properly identify students permitted to leave early addressing any potential child protection issues.
Further information regarding the School Attendance Policy can be found on the Department of Education’s website here https://education.nsw.gov.au/student-wellbeing/media/documents/attendance-behaviour-engagement/attendance/attendance parents.pdf, or through contacting the school to discuss situations specific to your family.