A recent report released by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership has reaffirmed the importance of student attendance at school and the link between student attendance and achievement. Our attendance data at St Columba’s College is very positive and reflects the generally positive picture of overall attendance in Australian schools:
- Years 1-10 students attend, on average, 92% of ‘available school days’ in Australia (ACARA, 2018).
- The overall proportion of Australian students who attend school regularly is also good, with 75% of Years 1-10 students attending at least 90% of available school days (ACARA, 2018).
There are, however, areas of concern and some of these are relevant to us at St Columba’s:
- 25% of Australian school students attend less than 90% of school days – this equates to approximately 20 or more days absent in a school year.
- attendance rates tend to decline in secondary school, from Year 8 onwards.
We monitor attendance closely at the College and aim to have attendance rates for all students at least at 90%. Where a student’s attendance falls below this level, we work with families to determine the factors having an impact on a student’s capacity to attend school. The first step in this process is to alert parents to the issue to provide an opportunity for discussion. This week, letters have been sent to families where attendance rates have fallen below the expected 90% mark. We appreciate that many families have informed us of particular absences, and that over time, with consistent attendance, these rates will resolve themselves. We are committed to ensuring that parents have the information they require from the College to support decision-making around this issue. I encourage you to use this communication as an opportunity for conversation with your daughter and with the College to ensure that, jointly, we provide your daughter the best opportunity to achieve her full potential across all areas of school life.
The Wedding Singer
Thanks to all those that supported our students in their commitment to this year’s joint St Bernard’s and St Columba’s College Musical, The Wedding Singer. To see the students on stage is to witness their absolute delight and pure pleasure in presenting their work to the audience. Congratulations to all the students on their wonderful performances. A special thank you to our Performing Arts staff for their accompaniment of the students as they prepared for the show and to all the families who provided love, encouragement, transport and moral support during both the rehearsal period and the performances.