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Rutherglen High School encourages students to achieve to the best of their abilities. Therefore it is expected that all students take full advantage of their educational opportunities, including regular attendance, completion of all set work and consistently working to their full potential.

Students of school age (5 – 17 years) resident in Victoria are required to be in full time attendance at a government or registered non-government school unless they are receiving approved home tuition, have shared enrolment with a specialist setting, have received an exemption from the Regional Director or are enrolled in correspondence education.


  • To maximise learning opportunities by ensuring student absenteeism is kept to a minimum.
  • To put into place agreed processes for managing student absences within the School.


  • All enrolled students are expected to attend all scheduled classes.
  • Students must have a valid reason for not attending (these are outlined under Approved Absences).
  • The official attendance roll is marked every Period. Class teachers mark their own rolls for each class.
  • Students absent from Period 1 will be recorded by the School Attendance Officer who will contact the parents of absent student to verify the location of the student.
  • Attendance data will be reviewed by Year Level Coordinators each week and presented to students at Year Level Assembly by their Year Level Coordinator.
  • Parents/Guardians of absent students are required to provide authorisation either in writing or by phone, detailing the reason/s or their child’s absence.
  • Parents/guardians are expected to advise the School of any extended absence, prior to the absence.
  • Students in Years 7 – 10 who have more than 10 days unapproved absence per semester may be unable to satisfy the requirements of the subjects unless the Year Level Coordinator makes a special recommendation to the Principal.
    • Absences with a Medical Certificate, part-day absence approved by First Aid Officer, suspensions, excursions including sport and work placements are approved rather than unapproved absences.
    • Students in Years 11 – 12 are required to maintain a 100% attendance rate for each unit of study they undertake. Failure to do this will result in the recording of an N for that Unit unless there is a valid (approved) reason for non-attendance.
    • A parent or guardian of a VCE student who is absent or will be absent for School Assessed Coursework (SAC) must notify the VCE Coordinator prior to the scheduled SAC.
    • VCAL students are required to complete 100 hours per Outcome over the year. The same obligations apply to them as per VCE students.
    • Once attendance drops below 80% for a semester, VCE/VCAL students will be unable to satisfy the requirements of the subjects/courses even if the absences are generally approved. They will therefore receive an ‘N’.
  • Students who are recorded absent at morning or afternoon roll call will have a half day unapproved absence recorded, unless otherwise advised, which will count towards the yearly tally of unapproved absences.
  • Year Level Coordinators will advise students at risk once the unapproved absences reaches 7 days. A letter will also be sent to the parents/guardians advising them.

Approved Absences include:

  • Absences covered by a medical certificate
  • A student being sent home sick from school
  • Attendance at a medical appointment, including dentist.
  • Approved School excursion or sporting event.
  • Suspension
  • Notification by phone or a signed note by the parent/guardian explaining the reason for the absence (illness, family trauma, etc.) (While this is generally sufficient for students in Years 7-10, it is only sufficient grounds for VCE/VCAL students with low level absenteeism.)
  • Family holidays (the School Attendance Officer should be informed well in advance so that work requirement obligations are met through a form completed and signed by teachers.) (While this is generally sufficient for students in Years 7-10, it is only sufficient grounds for VCE/VCAL students with low level absenteeism.)

Attendance Protocols:

  • Rutherglen High School has a 24-hour phone number with an answering machine. The number is (02) 6032 9818.
  • When parents/guardians know their child will be absent from school, they should phone and:
    1. Identify themselves as the parent/guardian of the student
    2. Advise the name and Year Level of the student
    3. Advise the reason for the absence and the expected length of the absence. (A follow-up note may be required.)
  • Students who leave the School for an approved appointment or activity must sign out.
  • If the student returns, they must sign back in.
  • VCE Students must sign the Private Study roll at the commencement of each Private Study period.
  • Teachers are to maintain accurate attendance records for each period of instruction.
  • Teachers are to monitor attendance and advise Year Level Coordinators of concerns.

Students are responsible for any missed work and must seek information concerning catch-up requirements.

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