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Roll marking in state schools procedure

Version number 5.6 | Version effective 05 October 2021
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Roll marking in state schools procedure

Audience

All state schools

Purpose

This procedure outlines the process for recording student attendance and absence on state school rolls.

Overview

Each parent of a child who is of compulsory school age must ensure that the child is enrolled and attends school on every school day for the educational program in which the child is enrolled unless the parent has a reasonable excuse. A parent of a young person in the compulsory participation phase must ensure the young person is participating full-time in an eligible option, unless the parent has a reasonable excuse. Marking the roll provides evidence that parents are meeting these obligations.

As per s.177 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld), a child ‘attends’ a school of distance education (SDE) by completing and returning the assigned work for the program. SDE students are not required to physically attend classes and not all online classes have compulsory participation. Given this, roll marking in SDEs may be based on ‘return of work’ rather than physical attendance.

Schools are required to notify parents on the same day (DoE employees only) when a student is absent from school without explanation.

Schools produce lists of enrolled or registered students in class or session groupings for the purpose of collecting information about attendance and absence. The information collected about attendances and absences for primary, secondary, and special school students must be recorded into the department’s OneSchool data management system. This is the official complete record of information the school holds on the student’s attendance and absences and must be maintained with current information. It includes data gathered from lists such as registers, class rolls, sport rolls, excursion rolls, records of alterations to a student’s educational program, flexible arrangements, suspensions, vocational education and training, and hospital schools. It should also include current contact details of parents, and advice from parents about student attendance via letter, text message, email or records of conversations.

Responsibilities

Principals:

  • develop and document a communication process for parents to use when notifying the school of their child’s absence and make this publicly available through the school’s website, newsletters and enrolment package
  • communicate processes and procedures for ‘late arrival’ and ‘early departure’ to parents and the school community through the school’s website and newsletters
  • ensure parents are notified of an unexplained absence of their child as soon as practicable on the day of the student’s absence (allowing time for parents to respond prior to the end of the school day) in accordance with the Managing student absences and enforcing enrolment and attendance at state schools procedure
  • establish a process for keeping records of contact with parents regarding student absences
  • assign roll marking responsibilities to appropriate staff (assigned officers)
  • ensure casual and relieving teachers are provided with rolls for relevant classes
  • assign data entry of student attendances and absences to appropriate staff (assigned officers)
  • ensure there are processes in place that maintain OneSchool as the complete and current record of student attendance and absence information (e.g. roll data is uploaded to OneSchool each day if using an electronic roll-marking system, and at least every three days if using hard copy rolls; parent contact details are updated immediately when the school is advised of a change)
  • determine whether explanations provided for student absences are reasonable, or not, and ensure that correct codes are used (see Table 2 – Absence reason codes for reasonable and unreasonable excuses)
  • ensure that assigned officers understand and carry out their responsibilities
  • ensure teachers in pre-Prep and Early Childhood Development Centres monitor attendance
  • for schools operating in the communities of Aurukun, Coen, Doomadgee, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge, use the Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC) School Attendance Guidelines to determine whether a reasonable excuse for a student’s absence has been provided
  • strictly follow specific procedures for the Day 8 enrolment collection, as provided to schools at the beginning of each year.

Assigned officers:

For roll marking:

  • ensure each student is marked as either present or absent from their educational program:
    • at the beginning of the school day and prior to the beginning of the afternoon sessions in primary and special schools
    • at the beginning of the school day and for each lesson in secondary schools.

For data entry:

  • ensure an absence reason code is assigned to each student absence in OneSchool i.e. unexplained absence.

Regional Directors:

  • monitor schools’ attendance management practices, including for Independent Public Schools, and take action as appropriate.

Parents:

  • ensure their child arrives at school on time and attends their educational program every school day
  • minimise disrupting their child’s school day so their child has the best opportunity to learn
  • provide their current contact details to the school to enable effective notification
  • contact the school prior to any planned absences and provide an explanation (preferably in writing) for each absence, either before or on the day of absence, or as soon as practicable, in accordance with the schools’ communication processes
  • ensure their child follows the school’s recommended processes and procedures for late arrival and early departure
  • notify the school if their child will be late using the school’s recommended communication processes.

Independent and mature aged students:

  • provide current contact details to the school (for themselves and emergency contacts) to enable effective notification
  • notify the school if they will be late using the school’s recommended communication processes
  • contact the school prior to any planned absences and provide an explanation (preferably in writing) for each absence, either before or on the day of absence, or as soon as practicable, in accordance with the schools’ communication processes.

Process

Recording attendance and absences

Principals:

  1. Establish processes for assigned officers to ensure each student is marked as either present or absent from their educational program:
  • at the beginning of the school day and prior to the beginning of the afternoon session in primary and special schools
  • at the beginning of the school day and for each lesson in secondary schools
  • schools may use methods such as absentee slips that are completed, initialled and provided to the office for the purpose of reconciling student absences during the day.
  1. Establish processes for assigned officers generating lists from OneSchool such as class rolls, sport rolls and excursion rolls to record student attendance and absences.
  2. Ensure all rolls contain as a minimum: roll class; year; teacher’s name; student details including EQ identification number, year level and birth date; date (day, month and year) of each day to be marked; sufficient blank lines to accommodate additional students and space for the roll marker’s initials to certify accuracy of records.
  3. Provide supply teachers with access to relevant class rolls, either hard copy or electronic.
  4. Establish processes to ensure assigned officers enter student absence data into OneSchool each day if using an electronic roll marking system; and preferably each day, but at least every three days if using hard copy rolls, to ensure accuracy of stored information.
  5. Ensure accuracy of OneSchool data entry and establish processes to ensure the assigned officers employ effective methods.
  6. Establish processes to ensure assigned officers record all student absences in OneSchool using an appropriate code from Table 1 - Absence codes for full or part day absence, including records of late arrivals and early departures.
  7. Establish processes to ensure assigned officers record all reasons for student absences in OneSchool using an appropriate reason code from Table 2 – Absence reason codes for reasonable and unreasonable excuses.
  8. Where no explanation of an absence has been provided, ask the parent of a student or the student (where they are independent, an adult, or where it would be inappropriate to ask the parent) for the reason for an unexplained absence.
  9. Communicate to parents the importance of contacting the school prior to any planned absences and to provide an explanation (preferably in writing) for each absence, either before or on the day of the absence, or as soon as practicable, in accordance with the school’s communication processes. This may take the form of:
  • a medical certificate
  • a written explanation provided to the school via a note, email or text message containing the student’s name, date of absence(s) and reasons for absence(s)
  • a verbal explanation to the school through either a phone call or visit to the school
  • any other form of communication agreed by the principal.
  1. Communicate to parents that if their child will be late, they are to notify the school using the recommended process e.g.:
  • accompanying the child to the school
  • phoning the school
  • emailing or sending a text message to the school
  • providing the child with a signed and dated note.
  1. Establish processes for notifying parents of an unexplained absence of their child as soon as practicable on the day of the student’s absence (allowing time for parents to respond prior to the end of the school day), with continued follow up as practicable with parents.
  2. Seek clarification from the parent or the student (where the student is independent, an adult or where it would be inappropriate to ask the parent) if not reasonably satisfied about a reason given for an absence.
  3. Ensure students granted an exemption are entered in the OneSchool exemption register. This will generate absence reason code “Z” (Exemptions) for the student.
  4. Ensure students who are attending a hospital education program remain enrolled at school and are allocated absence reason code “A” (School activity).
  5. Ensure students who are unable to attend school because of charge-related reasons, but are enrolled in a school of distance education or engaged in an educational program, remain enrolled at school and allocated absence reason code “B” (Attendance not required). This also applies if the student is in a youth detention centre. If students are unable to attend school due to charge-related reasons but are not enrolled in a school of distance education or are not engaged in an educational program, they should be allocated absence reason code “Q” (Long suspension).
  6. Establish processes for filing and retaining all documentation in relation to student absences (e.g. notes, medical certificates, written records of conversation).
  7. Ensure an assigned officer overrides the absence reason code “U” (Unexplained) when a reason for an absence is given subsequently and enters the appropriate reason code and makes an annotation in OneSchool if appropriate.
  8. Refer to the Guidelines for recording attendance of students who are enrolled but not attending school and cannot be located, and students who have been granted an exemption from schooling:
  • when a student has been absent from school for 15 or more consecutive school days and the school is unable to contact the parents to seek an explanation for the absence
  • when a student has been granted an exemption from schooling.

Roll marking

Assigned officers:

  1. Use visual and verbal confirmation when recording whether a student is present or absent (i.e. call each student’s name, await a verbal response from the student and sight the student who provided the response).
  2. For hard copy rolls, legibly record in black or blue ink whether a student is present or absent at a designated roll-marking session using consistent symbols such as (/) for present and (a) for absent or an appropriate reason code.
  3. Ensure there are no blank cells in a completed roll.
  4. Initial and date rolls to certify the accuracy of their sightings of student attendance and marking of student absence after each entry, or if using an electronic marking system ensure there is an electronic record of this process.
  5. Send student attendance and absence information to the office for data entry in accordance with the school’s procedures.
  6. Where a student is absent from a class, report the absence as soon as practicable in accordance with the school’s procedures.

Data entry/recordkeeping

Assigned officers:

  1. Generate lists from OneSchool such as class rolls, sport rolls and excursion rolls to record student attendance and absences.
  2. Employ effective methods for:
  • checking lists such as sick bay registers, excursion lists, sporting lists and guidance officer registers
  • accurately recording attendance and absences of students participating in off-campus activities such as training and work experience
  • assigning appropriate codes to student absences using Table 1 – Absence codes for full or part day absence and Table 2 – Absence reason codes for reasonable and unreasonable excuses
  • making annotations during the checking process which do not alter the original roll marker’s record of attendance or absence (e.g. a dated and signed annotation on a hard copy roll or an electronic note)
  • recording when a student arrives late for school or leaves early (noting the date and time), the date students are added to rolls, and the date when a student has moved class or left the school
  • certifying the accuracy of records when using electronic roll marking systems.
  1. Upload absence information to OneSchool each day if an electronic roll-marking system is used, and at least every three days if hard copy rolls are used.
  2. Update OneSchool immediately when parents advise the school of changes to their contact details.
  3. In an extreme weather event or natural disaster, and a school is open but students are unable to attend, record the full or part-day absence using the absence reason code “N” (Natural disaster) regardless of whether or not the student is continuing with school work while away from school.
  4. In an extreme weather event or natural disaster, and a school has been closed, record the school closure in the OneSchool School Calendar by adding that date as a Non-School Day with a Day Type of ‘School Closure’ – refer to OneSchool (DoE employees only), and roll marking is not required on the day of the closure.
  5. Store all information collected by individual roll markers securely and in a suitable format that meets the requirements of the Public Records Act 2002 (Qld).
  6. Retain evidence of notifications sent to parents as per the same day student absence notification policy (DoE employees only) in either OneSchool or an external electronic attendance management system, and these must be accessible at all times. Where the failure to attend process is being considered for a student, evidence of notifications must be captured in OneSchool’s Record of Contact.

Attendance management practices

Assigned officers in Regions:

  1. Use the OneSchool Performance Dashboard (DoE employees only) to monitor schools’ attendance management practices (e.g. regular upload of absence data into OneSchool) - refer to Attendance Monitoring Dashboard Explanatory Notes (DoE employees only).

Definitions

Term

Definition

Assigned officer

A school staff member nominated by the principal to undertake specific tasks (e.g. roll marking, data entry).

For regions, the assigned officer is nominated by the Regional Director.

As soon as practicable

As soon as possible and practical taking into account all of the facts and circumstances in the individual case.

Attendance management practices

Includes marking rolls, same day student absence notification to parents, uploading absence data into OneSchool, using the appropriate absence reason codes.

Compulsory participation phase

A young person's compulsory participation phase starts when they stop being of compulsory school age (i.e. turns 16 or completes Year 10 whichever comes first) and ends when the person:

  • gains a Certificate of Achievement, Senior Statement, Certificate III or Certificate IV; or
  • has participated in eligible options for 2 years after the person stopped being of compulsory school age; or
  • turns 17.

See Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) s.231.

Compulsory school age

A child is of compulsory school age if the child is at least 6 years and 6 months, and less than 16 years.

However, a child is no longer of compulsory school age if the child has completed Year 10.

See Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) s.9.

Eligible option

An eligible option (Education (General Provisions) Act (Qld) s. 232) is a recognised education or training program or course, offered by a recognised provider, which will enable a young person to gain a Certificate of Achievement, Senior Statement, and/or a Certificate III or IV. Eligible options and providers are:

Eligible option: An educational program provided under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld)
Provider: a State school

Eligible option: An educational program provided under the Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2017 (Qld)
Provider: a non-State school

Eligible option: A course of study under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cwlth) 
Provider: a registered higher education provider

Eligible option: A Vocational Education and Training (VET) course under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (Cwlth)
Provider: a registered training organisation

Eligible option: An apprenticeship or traineeship under the Further Education and Training Act 2014 (Qld)
Provider: a registered training organisation

Eligible option: A departmental employment skills development program under the Further Education and Training Act 2014 (Qld)
Provider: the chief executive administering the Further Education and Training Act 2014 (Qld)

Parent (Education

The Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld), s. 10 defines the meaning of parent as:

  1. A parent, of a child, is any of the following persons –
  • the child’s mother;
  • the child’s father;
  • a person who exercises parental responsibility for the child.
  1. However, a person standing in the place of a parent of a child on a temporary basis is not a parent of the child.
  2. A parent of an Aboriginal child includes a person who, under Aboriginal tradition, is regarded as a parent of the child.
  3. A parent of a Torres Strait Islander child includes a person who, under Island custom, is regarded as a parent of the child.
  4. Despite subsections (1), (3) and (4), if –
  • a person is granted guardianship of a child under the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld); or
  • a person otherwise exercises parental responsibility for a child under a decision or order of a federal court or a court of a State;

then a reference in this Act to a parent of a child is a reference only to a person mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).

Reasonable excuse

For the purposes of this procedure, refer to the Director-General's Guideline for authorised officers on how to determine whether parents have a reasonable excuse for the purposes of ss.176 and 239 of the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld).

Roll marking

Information collected either electronically or in hard copy about a student’s attendance or absence from school.

Unexplained absence

When no explanation for a student absence has been offered to the school by the parent, or the student if they are independent, an adult, or where it would be inappropriate to ask the parent.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

4.0       Roll Marking in State Schools

5.0       Roll marking in state schools

Review date

18 January 2022
Attribution CC BY
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