NSW schools see jump in student attendance

NSW schools see jump in student attendance

Student attendance in NSW public schools increased from 85.2% in 2022 to 88.1% in 2023 – a nation-leading improvement of 2.9%, according to new figures.

The promising result coincides with the NSW Department of Education’s 'Every Day Matters' campaign, which aims to raise parent, carer and community awareness on the importance of school attendance.

The State’s Government has now launched a new phase of its campaign to remind parents and carers that just one day off school can lead to students missing out and falling behind, academically and socially.

Students’ school attendance rates have been declining nationwide since the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, with estimates showing that chronic absenteeism levels in schools reached 49.9% in 2022, with between 1% to 5% of all students classed as severely absent.

Studies show that the prevalence of students who refuse to attend school is higher amongst those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, bullying and student disconnection from the learning curriculum may also be contributing to increased absences, academics have noted.

Conversely, research shows positive school attendance benefits students’ academic achievement, engagement and wellbeing, while students who attend school regularly are also more likely to experience positive health, social and economic outcomes after leaving school.

“A day or two away from school may not seem like a big deal, but missing just one day per fortnight adds up to an entire year of missed learning over a student’s school career,” Deputy Premier and NSW Education Minister Prue Car said.

“We have made good progress on lifting attendance in NSW since coming to government, but there is more to do. Unless your child is unwell, please send them to school. It’s the best thing you can do to ensure your child receives the best education possible.”