Note: In 2018, NSW government schools implemented the national standards for student attendance data reporting. This resulted in a fall in attendance rates for most schools due to the inclusion of partial absences and accounting for student mobility in the calculation. Data for 2018 is not directly comparable with earlier years.
This Government school student attendance bulletin (PDF, 387kB) presents analysis of attendance rates at NSW government schools from 2008 to 2018. Results are presented by education level, Aboriginal status, remoteness and gender. The bulletin includes a new measure 'proportion of students attending 90% or more of the time' and assesses the impact of implementing national standards on NSW government schools' attendance rates.
Download the 2017 attendance bulletin (PDF, 408kB).
Student attendance has been demonstrated to be linked to student academic outcomes, although the nature of the link is complex. CESE’s Government School Student Attendance 2017 (Semester 1) bulletin summarises attendance rates by:
• student level of education
• Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students
• scholastic year and gender.
CESE’s analysis of Semester 1 2017 attendance data indicates that the average attendance rate for NSW government schools was 92.1 per cent, but varied widely across a number of contextual factors.
Attendance rate and student level of education
Primary school students’ attendance rates were, on average, 4.4 percentage points higher than secondary school students’ attendance rates. Attendance rates decreased at a slower rate in primary years (drop of 1 percentage point from Kindergarten to Year 6), than in secondary years (5 percentage points decrease between years 7 and 10).
Attendance rate and remoteness
Attendance rates were lower for students in remote and very remote schools compared to attendance rates at schools in major cities - averaging 85.6 per cent in remote and very remote areas, compared to 92.7 per cent in major cities.
Attendance rate and Aboriginal students
The gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students’ attendance rate has decreased 0.7 percentage points since 2011. In 2017, the average attendance rate for Aboriginal students was 86.2 per cent and for non-Aboriginal students was 92.6 per cent. This gap was smaller for primary students (4.1 percentage points) than secondary students (10.1 percentage points). The average attendance rate for Aboriginal students at remote and very remote schools has increased by 4.3 percentage points since 2006.
Recording and monitoring student attendance allows educators to identify students who have low attendance, and are at risk of falling behind. Tracking student attendance is also a legislative requirement and part of every school’s duty of care. Attendance data is important because it provides a measure of students’ engagement – which is critical for evaluating school and student performance.
To access data on NSW government school student attendance, visit the NSW Education Data Hub.
The summary on this page is also available as a PDF. Download the 2017 attendance summary (PDF, 215kB).
Authors: Katrina Yu, Duncan Rintoul, Steven Hao, Ian Watkins, Wai-Yin Wan
Evaluator company/business: Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation, NSW Department of Education
URL or PDF: Download the Evaluation of the NSW Clontarf Academies Program 2017 (PDF, 2MB)
Summary: This report presents the findings of CESE's evaluation of the Clontarf Academies program, which currently operates in 25 schools across NSW. The scope covers the 12 Academies established before 2016, with a focus on the seven established in 2012. This evaluation draws on administrative data on school attendance, retention, suspensions, NAPLAN participation, post-school outcomes and contact with the criminal justice system, as well as stakeholder interviews, site visits and a survey of Clontarf participants. The evaluation has three components: a process evaluation, an outcome evaluation and an economic evaluation.
Research shows the benefit of effective teaching and student engagement. The Improving high school engagement learning curve (PDF, 1.6MB) uses data from the NSW Tell Them From Me student surveys in 2013 and 2015 to look at how students' engagement, performance and experience of classroom practices in Year 7 affect their engagement and performance in Year 9.
Learn more about the Tell Them From Me surveys.
Based on the modelling work in this publication, the following summarises the strategies that the research evidence identifies as most effective for improving engagement and achievement in Years 7-9. You can also download these strategies as a PDF (115kB)
The 2016 schools and students statistical bulletin (PDF, 1MB) presents tables and charts about NSW schools and students. Data is from the census of both government and non-government students, undertaken in August 2016.
The 2016 attendance bulletin (PDF, 370kB) presents analysis of attendance data at NSW government schools from 2006 to 2016. Results are presented for primary and secondary students. Attendance rates are also presented for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, remoteness, and the Family Occupation and Employment Index (FOEI) of schools.
The 2015 schools and students statistical bulletin (PDF, 1.7MB) presents tables and charts about NSW schools and students. Data is from the census of both government and non-government students, undertaken in August 2015.
Key findings from the NSW Long Day Care Survey 2015 (PDF, 2.3MB) presents key findings from a survey of NSW long day care centres, conducted in late 2015 by the Social Research Centre on behalf of the NSW Department of Education. It provides information on enrolment, attendance, vacancy rates, teacher qualifications and the use of the transition to school statement.
The school student attendance bulletin (PDF, 1MB) presents analysis of attendance data at NSW government schools from 2006 to 2015. Results are presented for primary and secondary students. Attendance rates are also presented for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, remoteness and the Family Occupation and Employment Index (FOEI) of schools.
The Connected Communities interim evaluation report (PDF, 2MB) presents qualitative and quantitative findings regarding the implementation and achievement of key deliverables at the midpoint of the five year Connected Communities Strategy. The evaluation aims to answer how well the model has been formed and implemented across schools, as well as outcomes and impact of distinct components of the strategy.