Compulsory Schooling Policies. EGPA (2006) Implementation and New Policies and Procedures Workshop – November 2006. Enforcement of compulsory schooling and compulsory participation provisions.
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Compulsory Schooling Policies EGPA (2006) Implementation and New Policies and Procedures Workshop – November 2006
Enforcement of compulsory schooling and compulsory participation provisions • Compulsory school age means if the child is at least 6 years (in 2007) or 6 years 6 months (from 2008) and less than 16 years (and not yet completed Year 10).
Enforcement of compulsory schooling and compulsory participation provisions • Compulsory participation phase starts when the young person stops being of compulsory school age (ie. turns 16 or completes Year 10, whichever comes first) and ends when the person – • gains a Senior Certificate, Certificate III or IV; or • has participated in eligible options for 2 years after the person stopped being of compulsory school age; or • turns 17
Compulsory Schooling:Parental Obligations “Each parent of a child who is of compulsory school age must – • ensure the child is enrolled at a State school or non-State school; and • ensure the child attends the State school or non-State school, on every school day, for the educational program in which the child is enrolled; unless the parent has a reasonable excuse.”
Enforcement of compulsory schooling and compulsory participation provisions When a child of compulsory school age is not enrolled in a school: • follow Flowchart A: Process for failure to enrol – compulsory schooling
Enforcement of compulsory schooling and compulsory participation provisions When a child of compulsory school age is absent without satisfactory reason: • follow Flowchart B: Process for persistent truancy or absenteeism – compulsory schooling
Compulsory Participation Phase:Parental Obligations “Each parent of a young person in the compulsory participation phase must ensure the young person is participating full-time in an eligible option, unless the parent has a reasonable excuse.” • Note: The Act specifies the requirement relating to full-time participation.
Enforcement of compulsory schooling and compulsory participation provisions When a young person in the compulsory participation phase is not participating full-time in an eligible option: • follow Flowchart C: Process for persistent truancy or absenteeism – compulsory participation
Responsibilities of the EDS Check, in cases moving towards prosecution, that all reasonable steps to support and encourage the parent to comply with the compulsory schooling or compulsory participation provisions have been taken as per the flowcharts, and that prosecution, as a last resort, is in the best interests of the child.
Responsibilities of the EDS • when considering recommending prosecution, if all steps have been carefully followed and documented, seek advice from Central Office Legal and Administrative Law Branch • and only then, support the recommendation and send it through the ADG Student Services • D-G is retained as the decision-maker for prosecutions, not the ADG Student Services
Summary of changes to the policy • more specific wording around non-enrolment or truancy as a potential child protection issue and information sharing with other agencies • greater clarity in the documents • new wording mentions the need to take into consideration parents’ social, linguistic and cultural backgrounds and make multiple attempts to contact them through a range of approaches
Enforcement of compulsory schooling and compulsory participation provisions The underlying principle is that schools should support students and parents to meet the compulsory schooling or compulsory participation phase obligations, and that this at times requires proactive approaches and flexibility on the part of schools.
Managing Student Attendance • previously there have been no guidelines in policy to schools around managing short term absences • under EGPA (1989) and YPET the terms “dispensation” and “exemption” were both used • EGPA (2006) refers only to “exemption”
Managing Student Attendance Three policies have been developed: • Managing Student Absences 2. Flexible Arrangements 3. Exemptions from compulsory schooling and compulsory participation
Managing Student Attendance • non-attendance / absenteeism / truancy occur for a range of reasons and on a short or long term basis, from part of a day to a student leaving schooling permanently • the policy aims to provide both general principles around preventing and responding to such absences and advice regarding specific situations
Why is an exemption needed for delayed entry to school in 2007? Parents have a legislated obligation to ensure their child enrols at and attends school from a certain age. • If the child turns this age and they are not attending Year 1 or above at a school, the parent will be breaching this obligation. • In relation to delayed entry to school, parents who have EDS permission may enrol their compulsory school age child in Prep in 2007 and will need to obtain an exemption from meeting this obligation. From 2008, enrolment and attendance in a Prep year program will fulfil the compulsory schooling obligations.
Managing Student Attendance • under the Act a parent must ensure their child attends school on every school day required by their educational program unless the parent has a reasonable excuse • there are circumstances where the parental obligation does not apply (eg. absences for up to 10 consecutive school days for illness) • Principals will determine whether a parent has provided a “satisfactory reason” to explain a student’s absence from school
Absences from school • Principals are responsible for implementing risk management processes around student absenteeism • if a student is absent without a reason the absence is recorded as “unexplained” and the parent is contacted and asked for an explanation for the absence • Principals can report any unexplained absence, or any absence that was initially unexplained for which the Principal is not reasonably satisfied with the explanation, to the relevant authorities (eg. DChS, QPS) if they consider it appropriate to do so.
Absences from school • while a principal is not able to approve or authorise absences they can decide on a case by case basis whether there are satisfactory reasons for a student’s absence on a particular occasion • they can then decide whether the absence is sufficient justification to commence the steps leading to prosecution of parents
Exemptions • parents seeking approval in advance for their child’s absence from school for extended periods should apply for an exemption on the approved form • Principals can approve all exemptions for students of compulsory school age and students in the compulsory participation phase for periods of up to 1 school year (including Prep in 2007)
Exemptions • EDS considers exemption applications for a period of 1 school year or more for students of compulsory school age or for young people in the compulsory participation phase • PA,ES keeps district records of students granted an exemption from compulsory schooling and from the compulsory participation phase • most exemptions that are granted should be exemptions with conditions imposed