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As a parent, you must make sure your child goes to school every day. This is your legal responsibility.
- Your child must go to school all day and every day that it is open. This is unless there is an explanation. For example, if your child is sick.
- Your child must be enrolled and going to school by the age of 6.
- Your child must go to school until they are 17 years old.
- If your child wants to leave before they are 17 for another program or employment, there are certain requirements that must be met. These must be approved by the department.
- Parents can be prosecuted if they do not make sure their child goes to school. This means being fined or getting a criminal conviction.
For more information, see compulsory school attendance.
If your child is going to be away, schools prefer that you let them know on that day.
Our staff have a legal responsibility to follow up when a child misses school.
They will contact you if:
- your child is absent and you have not notified them
- they are concerned about the number of days missed in a term.
If your child misses school
Away without letting the school know
If your child is away and the school has not heard from you, they will contact you. They might:
- send you an SMS or email
- call you.
Often missing school
If a school has concerns about how often your child misses school, they might contact you. This will be to see if they can help. They might:
- send you a letter or call you
- invite you to a meeting
- visit you at home
- organise support for you from one of the department’s social workers.
If you're worried about a child not going to school, contact their school. If you do not know the school, contact the department at education.attendance [at] sa.gov.au.