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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    New truancy guidelines to help schools and families

    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    New truancy guidelines to help schools and families

    The Bligh Government has developed new guidelines to help schools address the complex issue of school truancy.

    Education and Training Minister Rod Welford said the new Guidelines to address chronic absenteeism, school refusal and truancy were developed to help schools identify types of absenteeism and possible responses.

    “Student absenteeism can have a significant effect on a student’s education, and can be associated with early school leaving and limited employment and life choices,” Mr Welford said.

    “Student absenteeism is a complex issue and schools need to use a range of strategies to help young people stay at school.

    “Early identification and intervention can help schools and families to find the cause of the problem and bring the students involved back to regular attendance.”

    Mr Welford said the guidelines were developed following an innovative research project in the Logan-Albert-Beaudesert education district, which explored the complex issues around school attendance.

    “The research project found that both whole-school and individual intervention strategies are needed to maximise student attendance. There are a range of types of absenteeism and each requires a different approach.”

    The guidelines recommend a five-step process for schools:

    • develop a school attendance policy
    • record and follow up student absences
    • monitor student non-attendance and patterns of non-attendance
    • develop a positive school culture
    • collaborate with other agencies.

    “There is no quick and simple solution to chronic absenteeism, but these guidelines will help schools investigate the underlying causes of non-attendance so that appropriate strategies can be implemented,” Mr Welford said.

    “In many cases, schools will work with other government agencies including the Queensland Police Service and Department of Child Safety, along with local non-government organisations to support students and their families.”

    Mr Welford said the State Government was serious about keeping young Queenslanders at school or in training and had raised the compulsory school age from 15.

    “All young Queenslanders are now required to be in education, training or employment until they reach the age of 17 or complete a qualification,” he said.

    Media contact: Marnie Stitz or Emma Clarey on 3237 1000