High School 24/3/23: Attendance procedures

What happens if my child is absent?

“Every day counts and there is no ‘safe’ threshold for absences” – Hancock et al., 2013

Let us explain with reference to some research.

The impacts of absenteeism, according to Hancock et al. (2013) are significant and cumulative: “The effects of non-attendance on achievement are cumulative and can impact both academic achievement and attendance in future years of schooling” (Gershenson et al., 2017; Gottfried, 2009; Zubrick, 2014).

The school is required by the Education Reform Act 1990 to monitor the daily attendance or absence of students in the school by maintaining a daily register for each class of students.

Parents have seven days in which to provide a satisfactory reason as to why your child was absent before it cannot be changed in our system and is listed as an “unjustified reason”.

You are informed of your child’s absence (partial or full day) by two options:

SMS Alert

At around 10:00 am an SMS alert will be sent from ‘WCCS'

Absentee Letter

Daily at 4 pm, you will receive an ABSENTEE LETTER via Email

If you think your child is at school and the message is a mistake, please ring the student office for clarification.

Providing reasons for absences

The following are the three options to explain your child’s absences:

  1. A written note or doctors certificate, OR
  2. Print the pdf document from the email and fill it in, OR
  3. Open Edumate (before noon on the day) or on the School App (at the end of the day) and record the absence.

Please be aware that when providing a reason on Edumate or the school App, you only have a choice of two options: Sick or Other

  • Sick: If a child is absent for 3 days or more, parents/carers are required to submit a doctor’s certificate. Please send this with your child to hand in or email it to the student offices: primaryreception@wccs.nsw.edu.au or highschoolstudentoffice@wccs.nsw.edu.au
  • Other: The reason provided is required to fit within the acceptable reasons for leave. Staying home from school to study, or visiting a friend are examples of unacceptable reasons for leave, therefore an ‘A’ will be recorded. Acceptable Leave may include a domestic necessity such as a serious illness of an immediate family member or attendance at funeral.

Family Holidays / Vacations

Families, wherever possible, should schedule appointments and holidays out of school hours and between terms. When this is not possible, and the leave is for more than two days, the principal can provide a Leave Certificate for students.

Approved leave for a family holiday

The “Application for Extended Leave Vacation and Travel” is found on the Family Portal under the Forms and Documents Tab. Please fill out the appropriate form at least 2 weeks in advance, and send it to the principal for approval before the leave is required.

High School students are required to visit Head Teachers to negotiate adjusted due dates for assessment tasks that would be missed whilst on leave. The state government legislates this process. 

If travel during the school term is necessary, the following considerations apply:

  • If the principal accepts the reason for the absence, the absence will be recorded as an approved leave
  • If the principal does not believe the absence is in the student’s best interests and does not accept the reason, the absence is unjustified and will be recorded as “A” – unacceptable reason

Exemption from Attendance

The “Application for Exemption from Attendance at School” is found on the Family Portal under the Forms and Documents Tab. 
If you are applying for an exemption, parents/carers need to apply at least a week before they leave. Principals may grant exemptions due to:

  • exceptional circumstances  (including the health of the student where sick leave or alternative enrolment is not appropriate)
  • the child is prevented from attending school because of a principal’s direction under the  Public Health Act 2010. (Note that in the case of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease. The parent is not required to complete an application for exemption.)
  • employment in the entertainment industry
  • participation in elite arts or elite sporting events (i.e.  national/international sports events)

Yours in Christ, 

Anthony Hudson and Gillian Coote
Deputy Principals

Bullying No Way Day

On Thursday morning, 9th March our Student Leadership Council (SLC) spoke to each High School year group about ‘Bullying, No Way! Day’. Students spoke clearly and emphasised the importance of respect and inclusion within our school community. One of the main messages presented to each year group is that if low level of behaviour is tolerated then this can be a ‘gateway’ – showing disrespect, excluding others, saying ‘jokes’, teasing can lead to more serious and harmful bulling. 

The SLC encouraged students to be ‘upstanders’ – someone who takes action against bullying behaviour. Two of our Carey attributes are ‘make wise and courageous choices’ and ‘show respect and compassion’. This creates a culture of respect, kindness and peace at school. Student voice can be a very powerful motivator in creating this culture. Matthew 22:39b says: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. The SLC leaders challenged students to think what this could look like within our school community! What a privilege it is to work and attend a school that cares deeply for each individual student.

Year 7 Warragamba Dam Excursion

On Monday 6th & Monday 13th March, the Year 7 Geography classes went on an excursion to Warragamba Dam. During both days the weather was either really hot at 37 degrees Celsius and humid or it was raining. These weather conditions made students realise the importance of having a secure water supply for Sydney, both now and into the future. Students learned a lot from our tour guides Kelly and Helen who explained the construction of the dam wall and its history right through the endangered animals that call Lake Burragorang home. The excursion was a great opportunity for students to see where their water supply came from and learn the importance of needing to save and conserve water.

School Photos are coming soon!

Friday 31st March 2023

All Primary Students & pre-booked Family Photos with A-K Surname


Friday 28th April 2023

All High School Students & pre-booked Family Photos with L-Z Surname

Online ordering is now available along with cash/envelope ordering. Click here for more information on how to do both.