Attendance Policy


The purpose of this procedure is to describe Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School's approach to the consistent management of student attendance to meet legislative requirements and sector standards.


2.1 General requirements

Compulsory schooling

The Queensland Government states that "each parent of a child who is of compulsory school age has the legal obligation to ensure their child is enrolled and attends a school, on every school day for the educational program in which the child is enrolled, unless the parent has a reasonable excuse.

A child should be enrolled in and attend school in the year that they turn compulsory school age (six years and six months). Each parent of a young person in the compulsory participation phase has the legal obligation to ensure that the young person is participating full-time in an eligible option, unless the parent has a reasonable excuse."

The Compulsory Schooling Phase:

  • starts the year a child turns 6 or starts Prep.
  • ends when the child turns 16 or finishes Year 10, whichever occurs first.
During this phase, the legal guardian has a legal obligation to ensure their child attends school every day.

The Compulsory Participation Phase:
  • starts the year the child stops being of compulsory school age (i.e., reaches the age of 16 or completes Year 10).
  • ends when the child:
    • gains a Senior Certificate, Certificate III, Certificate IV or
    • has participated in eligible options for two years after the completion of the Compulsory Schooling Phase, or
    • ​turns 17 years of age.
During this phase, legal guardians have a legal obligation to ensure their child meets the attendance requirements of the eligible option of their choice.


Our school has a responsibility to record student attendance and respond to instances of irregular attendance. Employees must use the eMinerva system to record student attendance and absences. It is important for our school to investigate the patterns and underlying causes of non-attendance so that appropriate strategies addressing the specific type of absenteeism can be implemented.

Our school, and by virtue of their employment, our teachers, are legally required to monitor and record attendance of students in their care on a daily basis, whether absent or present in class, on excursion or at a school based activity.

Student attendance level

Students, legal guardians, and employees work together to ensure all students meet the school expectation of 90% or above attendance and zero unexplained absences. 

90% attendance equates to 5 days absence per term and 10 days absence per semester.

2.2 Roles and responsibilities



  • ​implement this procedure
  • manage student attendance in consultation with the school community
  • engage with families to proactively promote high levels of student attendance
  • monitor non-attendance and re-engage students in partnership with parents/legal guardians
  • ensure compliance of data entry in alignment with eMinerva requirements
  • ensure employees are made aware of BCE's Student Attendance policy and this procedure
  • ensure a link to this procedure is provided to relief staff (i.e., published on school portal)
  • record and report attendance data in annual reviews
  • ensure relief staff are entered in WSS timesheets in order to gain access to eMinerva

  • ensure eMinerva training is part of the induction process for new employees and annual training for existing employees.
​Employees with roll-marking responsibilities
  • ​ensure data is entered into eMinerva in an accurate and timely manner, at least twice per day
  • for any student absent from school without explanation, report and follow up on the same day as the day of the absence to parents/legal guardians using ParentSMS

  • follow up on eMinerva notifications of unexplained absences 
  • inform Principal of unexplained or 3+ days of absence with an explanation.


Attendance Marking

  • ​​​Attendance must be marked for all students each morning and afternoon by the class teachers - ​

AM rolls at 9 am and PM rolls after second break at 12:00 pm.

  • ​Rolls will be checked by the Enrolment Officer by 9:10 am each day.
  • A phone call will be made to teachers if their rolls are not marked.
  • School Leadership will be advised of unmarked and incorrectly marked rolls.
  • Incorrectly marked rolls will be corrected by the teacher responsible for the class.​

Present Categories


Students who are:

- in Class will be marked 'Present – In Class'.
- in an alternative learning activity must be marked 'Present - Alternative Learning Activity'

- with Guidance Counsellors must be marked as 'Present - In-School Appointment'

- in sick bay must have their attendance category changed to 'Present - In Sick Bay' by the office personnel

- participating in activities (excursion, camps etc.) must be marked by the teacher responsible for the activity

These attendance categories must not be changed, unless the student is present in class and then the category must be changed to 'Present – In Class'.

 Students will only be marked as 'Present – Not Required to Attend' upon instruction from School Leadership or the Enrolment Officer.

Absent Categories















Students who are:

- not in class, and notification has not been received from a parent/legal guardian, will be marked 'Absent – Unexplained'

- not in class and notification has been received from a Parent/Legal Guardian, must be marked 'Absent - Explained'

  • ​​When marking the roll, if teachers have received written information from parents/legal guardian regarding a student's absence from school, the teacher must enter the details (including absence category) into a log in eMinerva.
  • If the parent/legal guardian has informed the office of the absence, the school officer must enter these details into a log in eMinerva.
  • Class teachers must enter any information regarding future planned absences of students by entering a Notified Absence into e-Minerva.
  • For any student absent from school without explanation, the school must report to the parent/legal guardian on the day of the absence
  • If a student is away for three (3) consecutive days (or earlier if concerned), the class teacher must contact the parent/legal guardian
  • If a student has been previously marked 'Present at school', but they are not in class without permission, the teacher must ring the office and advise that the student is not present. Office personnel must inform school leadership that the student is missing. They must then attempt to locate the student who must be managed under the school's Student Behaviour Support Plan
  • Students must only be marked as 'Absent - Not Required to Attend', 'Absent - Truant' or ' Absent - Internal Suspension' upon instruction from school leadership.

Unexplained Absences


  •  A notification must be sent to the student's parent/legal guardian on the same day once an unexplained absence has been identified. The class teacher must follow up any unexplained absences by contacting the student's parent/legal guardian.
  • If a child protection order is in place, then the Child Safety Officer must be notified, as well as the legal guardian.
  • Past unexplained absences are indicated by the red Unexplained Absence Alert icon on class rolls. When the class teacher receives written explanation of the absence from the student's legal guardian, they must update the absence category and enter details into eMinerva.

Late Arrivals


  •  A student is considered to have arrived late any time after 9am.
  •  ​​All students arriving late must be signed in by a Legal Guardian at the School office and will be given a late slip. This slip needs to be presented to the teacher when arriving in class. If they do not have a late slip they are to be sent to the School Office to sign in.
  •  ​The late arrival information will be entered by office staff.
  •  School Office staff will contact the Legal Guardian of any student arriving late unaccompanied.
  •  If teachers observe a student has made a habit of arriving late or is late for three consecutive days, they will contact the student's Legal Guardian as per the policy for absentee students in this document.

Early Departures



  •  A student is considered to be leaving early any time before 2:50 pm.
  •  As with Late Arrivals, all students leaving early must be signed out at the School Office by a Legal Guardian.
SMS Messages
  •  Unexplained Absences: An SMS message will be sent to students' Main Contact by 9:15 each day advising of any 'Unexplained' absences. Any incorrect messages caused by incorrect roll-marking will be made known to the Assistant Principal. The teacher will follow up by telephoning the student's Legal Guardians.

Non-Marking of Electronic Roll



  • ​If the school computer system is offline, hard copies of all class rolls will be provided by the School Office. Once the system is online the teacher will mark the roll in eMinerva so that records are correct. This may be done the next day if necessary. Only administrators can amend marked rolls in consultation with the APA
  •  ​In the event of an evacuation, hard copies of rolls will be taken to the evacuation area to be marked by class teachers. Class teachers must advise the APA of any unexplained absentees.  
  • During a lockdown, the roll must not be marked.




  • ​An activity must be entered into eMinerva for students attending excursions, camps and other school based activities.
  • A yellow alert will​ appear next to the student's name on class rolls to indicate the student has a timetable clash. The activity must be marked by the employee responsible for the event, e.g. Present – Work Study; Present - Excursion. This attendance category will automatically inherit through the rest of the student's timetable for the day.
  • These attendance categories must not be changed, unless the student is present at school and then the category should be changed to 'Present – In Class'.

Relief Staff


  •  Relief Staff must have access to the school portal and eMinerva using their own BCE username and password and must mark attendance in eMinerva for each class they are supervising.
  • Teachers conducting supervision must mark attendance in eMinerva​ for the class they are supervising in accordance with this procedure.

Part-time Students


  • Part time students must sign in and out of the school office on arrival or departure as per arrangements made.
Mobile Attendance Application

  • ​​​​​Teachers wishing to use this application can access it via their school portal and entering their BCE username and password. The User Guide - Mobile Attendance Application must be read prior to use.

The school must perform high-level check of this procedure annually and a detailed review at least once every two (2) years.

5.1 References
  • Attendance - Description of Attendance Categories
  • Attendance - How to Mark Bulk Attendance Late Arrival or Early Departure
  • Attendance - Accessing Another Teacher's Roll
  • Attendance - How to Manage Unexplained Absences
  • Security - Relief Staff
  • Attendance - How to Mark Attendance ((Teaching and Administration Staff)
  • Student Attendance policy
5.2 Definition
​​Unexplained absence

​An unexplained absence occurs when the student is not present at school and the parent/legal guardian does not contact the school.