Mills, M., Howell, A., Kubler, M., Tomaszewski, W., Lynch, D., Phillips, L. G., … & Sheppard, K. (2017). Making every day count: effective strategies to improve student attendance in Queensland state schools.

This project was commissioned by the Queensland Department of Education and Training (DET) to determine what strategies are being used within Queensland government (state) schools to improve student attendance. In 2008, the Department’s Every Day Counts initiative sought to improve student attendance at school through a shared commitment by students, parents, caregivers, schools and the community. Data from DET indicate that on any given day, nine per cent of Queensland state school students are absent from school. Through the Every Day Counts website, the initiative provides resources for schools, parents and the community to promote and support student attendance at school, every school day. The driver behind this research was a report tabled in the Queensland Parliament in 2014, Report No. 42: ‘Review of state school attendance rates’, by the former Education and Innovation (Parliamentary) Committee. This report identified the lack of high quality research on programs and practices in schools that enhanced attendance and reduced absenteeism. The report thus recommended: That the government explore options for an academically rigorous and independent research of the existing strategies being implemented in Queensland (and perhaps in Australia) to identify common features that lead to success in improving school attendance rates; and identify features or strategies that may work in particular environments or with particular groups (for example, strategies for chronic absentees, for younger children, for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, for Indigenous students). In 2015, the Palaszczuk Government accepted all of the report’s recommendations and this research constitutes part of the Government’s response to that report.

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