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VIC What is Considered an Unsatisfactory School Attendance?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Corinne, 18 September 2016.

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  1. Corinne

    Corinne Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys,

    Just after some help. I have skimmed over the NSW Government School Attendance Policy and it's a bit vague defining unsatisfactory attendance as being, "Absences where explanations are not accepted by the principal."

    Was wondering if there's a ball park figure for the amount of time off that's considered too much for my partner's 5-year-old son who's in kindergarten?

    So far we're aware of him having missed four weeks of school this semester (occurring over two, two week blocks). First block was because of work commitments the mother had in her home town so she took him with her (at the time, they were living four hours away from the hometown).

    Second block was because she decided to move back to the hometown but advised the father their son would only miss a week of school, but he's moved from NSW to VIC and they moved two weeks ago, so he's actually missing 3 weeks of his NSW school but only 2 weeks of the Victorian school he will be attending, due to the difference in term dates. Currently, they're just sitting at home during the week. Her excuse for this is so he can start the new school at the beginning of the new term. But why wouldn't you move in the overlapping week to keep him in school?

    Sometimes he comes over saying, "I haven't been to school because I've been helping mum." Referring to days outside of the 4 weeks we already knew about.

    He's also not enrolled in the new VIC school yet and the school closed for end of term yesterday. His father wasn't aware of this otherwise he would have organised it. She's had ample time to request enrolment documents and hand them in.

    So far we don't have any school reports stating attendance levels because the previous school hasn't forwarded the father a copy, despite an email requesting them to do so.

    Current orders are shared parental responsibility, with alternating weekends and half of school holidays with dad.

    Would anyone else consider this an issue or are we reading too much into it? We're just worried about him falling behind.

    Cheers.
     
  2. Corinne

    Corinne Well-Known Member

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    *correction, the four weeks off occurred over three terms, not two.
     
  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    80% in NSW. Based on my understanding of NSW Dept of Education, what happens when less than 80% not much... 70%, yep still nothing. 60% might raise an eye brow, but it would have to be over a 2-year period... Family and community services is a joke.

    Kids are going home to ice addicted parents and nothing gets done. So a kid missing a few weeks of school ain't gonna raise an eyebrow. Sad but true.

    So how does all this moving around effect the dad's access to the kid?
     
  4. Corinne

    Corinne Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your response, appreciate it.

    Currently trying to amend the orders to reflect the current move but it's turning into a nightmare. Access will stay the same because we're still an hour away but the locations need to be changed apparently.

    She's basically using it as an opportunity to manipulate the orders in her favour.

    Such a fun game!
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me, but isn't kindergarten optional in Victoria, not mandatory?

    If it's optional, I can't see why any weight would be given to absences from kindergarten?
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    The child is in NSW kindergarten - first year of primary school is compulsory. Bloody confusing - every state runs their own race but the fed gov't wants a national curriculum. But that is an educational debate, not a legal one.
     
  7. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Still, it's not mandatory until they turn 6; they just have to be enrolled by their 6th birthday, so it's not considered mandatory until then, no?

    Or am I reading it wrong?
     
  8. Corinne

    Corinne Well-Known Member

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    No you're right, after 6 enrolment is a legal requirement. I just read it, didn't realise. But I think (not 100%) after enrolment has occurred, whether they're 5 or 6, attendance needs to be maintained.

    Yeah it is confusing. In NSW it's preschool, kindergarten then year 1, etc. In VIC it's kindergarten, prep then year 1...

    I think we'll just put it behind us and start the new school with a fresh slate. Don't want to get picky, it would just be disappointing if he was missing out.
     
  9. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    I see where the concern would be coming from, but I think if it were me, I would leave it alone and monitor should the pattern continue after school becomes mandatory. Not to undermine the importance of education, of course, and it's nice to have consistency and routine in these things, but at five years of age, when lots of kids wouldn't have started school yet, being at home with mum instead of at kindergarten in the care of a worker isn't going to disadvantage him terribly in the grand scheme of things. Just ensure he gets enrolled in school as agreed is all.
     
  10. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    They must be enrolled by the time they turn 6, but once enrolled they can't be un-enrolled without the school giving the OK. Yep, look, I would not make a big deal...but there are some issues that need clarifying. Kindergarten in NSW is the first year of school. The teachers are qualified teachers, not child care workers... The child is missing out on education, not play time.

    My thoughts - write to mum expressing concerns about school attendance. Do it via email. Hopefully that will be enough to scare her into action. If not - well, you have documentation of your concerns. If it continues into year 1, then consider your options.

    There is lots of talk about the importance of the first 5 yrs of life. I'm in a similar situation. My kids had a horrid first 5-years because of family law craziness and the conflict between me and the ex... For one of the kids, there is clear evidence of the stress... Not good.
     

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