Unexcused absences

Unexcused absences


Student absenteeism can lead to low academic achievement, dropping out of school, delinquency and gang involvement.  School districts that have established multi-systemic approaches and policies pertaining to student absenteeism typically experience fewer numbers of dropouts and a greater number of graduates.

The compulsory education law requires all children between the ages of 6-16 to attend school.

Each country develop strict rules to encourage all students’ perfect attendance.

For instance, in England, if your child is missing school without a good reason,  the local government council can give a parent a fine of £60, which rises to £120 if you don’t pay within 21 days. If you don’t pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.

The attendance regulations require each district board of education to develop, adopt and implement policies and procedures regarding the attendance of students, including the adoption of a definition of “unexcused absence” that counts towards truancy.  While the regulations allow for the parent to be referred to municipal court for a truant child, consideration should be made to refer or coordinate with a community-based social and health provider agency, other community resource, or the juvenile/family crisis intervention unit.

The rest of the articles will describe rules and regulations for Attendance, Truancy & Chronic Absenteeism that are applied generally in the USA.

For between five and nine cumulative unexcused absences, are the school staff required to –

  • make a reasonable attempt to notify the student’s parents of each unexcused absence prior to the start of the following school day
  • Conduct an investigation to determine the cause of each unexcused absence, including contact with the student’s parents
  • develop an action plan in consultation with the student’s parents designed to address patterns of unexcused absences, if any, and to have the child return to school and maintain regular attendance
  • 3 unexcused absence can be counted as 1 full day absence
  • revise the action plan, as needed, to identify patterns of unexcused absences and establish outcomes based upon the student’s needs and specify the interventions for achieving the outcomes, supporting the student’s return to school and regular attendance that may include any or all of the following:

(1) refer or consult with the building’s Intervention and Referral Services team, pursuant to the law

(2) conduct testing, assessments or evaluations of the student’s academic, behavioral and health needs

(3) consider an alternate educational placement

(4) make a referral to a community-based social and health provider agency or other community resource

(5) refer to the court program designated by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts

(6) proceed in accordance with the provisions of the law and if a potential missing or abused child situation is detected v. Cooperate with law enforcement andother authorities and agencies, as appropriate.

For cumulative unexcused absences of 10 or more, the student between the ages of six and 16 is truant, pursuant to attendance law.

  1. For each truant student, do the policies and procedures require the school district to – i. make a mandatory referral to the court program required by the State Office of the Courts
  2. make a reasonable attempt to notify the student’s parents of the mandatory referral

iii. continue to consult with the parent and the involved agencies to support the student’s return to school and regular attendance

  1. cooperate with law enforcement and other authorities and agencies, as appropriate

Therefore, each district board of education shall develop, adopt and, implement policies and procedures regarding the attendance of students at the public schools of the district or day schools in which students are provided with equivalent instruction.

If a parent constantly fails to bring his child to the school with no good reason, a parent could get a fine of up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence up to 3 months.

The court also gives the parent a Parenting Order. This means that  parents have to go to parenting classes. They also have to do what the court says to improve your child’s school attendance.

Türkçe Çeviri; Bingül UZEL ( TIKLA )

Olcay Yavuz, Ed.D. Associate Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies Internship Coordinator, 6th Year Professional Diploma with 092 Certification Southern Connecticut State University

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