Key Facts

In Australia in 2022:  

  • The attendance rate for students in Years 1-10 declined to 86.5% from 90.9% in 2021. This decline, which was due to the impact of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, high Influenza season outbreaks and floods in certain regions across Australia, was remarkably consistent across all states/territories and school sectors.   

  • The national student attendance level (the percentage of students with above 90 per cent attendance) declined to 49.9% from 71.2% in 2021. The large decline is due to a small shift in attendance, which corresponds to an exaggerated movement in the student attendance level.  

Notes and caveats

    • Attendance rate is defined as the number of actual full-time equivalent student-days attended by full-time students in Years 1-10 as a percentage of the total number of possible student-days attended over the period.
    • Attendance level is defined as the proportion of full-time students in Years 1-10 whose attendance rate in Semester 1 is equal to or greater than 90 per cent.
    • School attendance data for 2020 has not been published due to inconsistencies in the data as a result of the varying health advice and schooling arrangements across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The inconsistencies in data collection have now been addressed through national agreement by schools and systems. However, the impact of the pandemic varies widely on the operation of individual schools.
    • Jurisdiction COVID-19 notes and caveats:
      • NSW: 2021 attendance data in NSW is not comparable with previous years due to changes to the attendance calculations, to align with ACARA’s revised 2020 National Standards for student attendance data reporting. Although there was no state-wide lockdown in Semester 1 2021, COVID-19 had some impact on attendance rates. Attendance in 2022 was impacted by the increased number of COVID cases in NSW, easing of COVID travel restrictions and floods. Students were advised to stay home despite a negative COVID-19 test result if COVID-19 symptoms persisted
      • VIC: Semester One 2021 had a state-wide lockdown in Term 1 – week 4, Term 2 - week 7 and Term 2 – week 8.
      • QLD: Queensland schools experienced significant disruption during the 2021 reporting period. Although there were no state-wide lockdowns in Semester 1 2021, Queensland schools and parents continued to follow Queensland Health advice to stay home when sick or feeling unwell.
      • SA: No state-wide lockdowns in Semester One, 2021. 
      • WA: Western Australia had two lockdowns during Semester 1, 2021.  In Term 1, Week 1, schools were closed in the Perth, Peel and Southwest regions.  In Term 2, Week 11, three schools in the Perth and Peel regions were closed.  All other schools in the Perth and Peel regions remained open, however, many parents chose to not send their children to school during the four-day lockdown.  The lockdowns and public health advice that children with cold and flu like symptoms should not attend school impacted attendance rates and levels. 
      • TAS: No state-wide lockdowns occurred in Semester One, 2021. 
      • NT: Territory-wide lockdown occurred during June school holidays and had no impact on Semester One 2021 attendance. 
      • ACT: There were no territory-wide lockdowns in Semester One, 2021. 
    • For 2014-2017, NSW government school data has not been collected on a comparable basis with other states and territories. Therefore, comparisons with other jurisdictions for earlier years should be made with caution.
    • Data on student attendance levels could not be collected for NSW government schools prior to 2018. As a result, the level of attendance (KPM 1(c)) reported for NSW is for non-government school students only for 2015-17. The omission of NSW government school data also affects the national KPM 1(c) for all schools and for the government sector for 2015-17.
    • In 2015 Year 7 in Qld and WA was moved from a primary school year to a secondary school year.
    • ACT government school data for 2018 and 2019 have been derived from a school administration system in the process of implementation. Care should be taken when comparing these data with data from previous years and from other jurisdictions.
    • In 2020, support students in New South Wales Government mainstream schools were recorded against their grade of enrolment for the first time, to be more aligned with national counting rules. Only students in Schools for Specific Purposes (SSP) are now recorded as ungraded. Care should be taken when comparing with previous years as enrolments by grades will be higher than previously due to the revised methodology.
    • National data on the student attendance rate is available from the 2014 reporting year. For data on attendance rates before 2014 by state and territory by school sector see previous editions of the National Report on Schooling in Australia.
    • National data on the student attendance level is available from the 2015 reporting year.
    • Table cells in the disaggregation of student attendance data that contain five or fewer students OR only a single school have been suppressed to ensure the privacy of individual students.
    • Care should be taken in comparing attendance rates and levels across school years and jurisdictions given the very different number of students on whom these data is calculated.
    • Students reported as ungraded primary or ungraded secondary are included in totals of Years 1-10. Ungraded primary students are not included in Years 1-6 and ungraded secondary students are not included in Years 7-10.
    • For the 2014 and 2015 reporting years, geolocation is reported as agreed by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) in 2004. From the 2016 reporting year, geolocation is reported as the Australian Bureau of Statistics Remoteness Area.
    • For further information see National Standards for Student Attendance Data Reporting

Source: ACARA National Student Attendance Data Collection.