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Attendance at school

Attending school every day improves a child’s future life outcomes. It supports their learning and wellbeing.

Parents must make sure their child goes to school every day. This is a parent’s legal responsibility.

Attendance at school is required from the age of 6 years.

Compulsory school age — 6 to 16 years

Children and teenagers must be in school from 6 years to 16 years old.

They must attend a government or non-government school full time.

Compulsory education age — 16 to 17 years

Teenagers must go to school or an approved learning program until they either:

  • turn 17
  • achieve their SACE or other qualification.

Approved learning programs

Approved learning programs are run by:

An approved learning program could be:

  • accredited courses
  • apprenticeships or traineeships
  • university
  • other programs authorised by the Minister for Education (or delegate).

If you need support with getting to school or preschool

Check the Department for Education’s attendance support for families webpages.

You can also call the parent helpline for support on 1300 364 100.

Related information

On this site

Other websites


Education Act 1972

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Page last updated 27 November 2019

Provided by:
Department for Education
Last Updated:
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