Coast students miss 300 years of school since 2010

SUNSHINE Coast region students get an A-plus for their ability to avoid school.

The Coast's children and teens are among the state's worst waggers, missing more than three centuries of school since 2010.

The Sunshine Coast-Noosa region had the fourth highest level of absences in the state's 75 council areas.

The region's primary and secondary pupils skipped 113,375 days between January 2010 and December 2014.

This adds up to 311 years of lost education.

An APN Newsdesk analysis of State Government data reveals unexplained, unauthorised and "other" absences accounted for 35,548 days missed and illness came second on 27,265 days. Ungazetted holidays were responsible for 23,639 days off, and 7663 absences were the result of disciplinary action.


Of the region's 59 public schools, Maroochydore State High had the highest rate of absences - 2697 days lost over the five years.

This was the 12th highest level of absenteeism among the state's 1239 public schools.

Thursday was the most popular day off with 23,528 missed.

Education Minister Kate Jones said parents must take responsibility for making sure their children went to school.

"We want every child to be in class every school day and families, particularly parents, play a critical role ensuring children attend school," Ms Jones said.

"It's important that parents develop routines for regular on-time school attendance because it will set their children up for success."

Queensland Secondary Principals' Association president Andrew Pierpont said children who continually missed school would pay for it later in life.

"Missing small amounts of time regularly can have a long-term effect," Mr Pierpont said.

"There's a great deal of research around students missing school. It affects their reading age and that will affect their employability and lead to other types of social impacts."

He said absenteeism was everyone's problem, adding "the target should always be 100% attendance".

"Everyone needs to realise that improving attendance is about the school working with the kids and working with their parents and their families and working with the community as well," Mr Pierpont said.

"It's not a real quick fix in most situations. It's about steady improvements."

At the time of print Maroochydore State High School principal Barry Dittman was unable to comment.


At a glance

Number of Sunshine Coast-Noosa public school absentee days from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2014.

  • Unauthorised - 35,548
  • Illness - 27,265
  • Holiday - 23,639
  • Disciplinary - 7,663

Top five

Days missed at schools

  • Maroochydore State High School - 2697
  • Beerwah State High School - 2653
  • Noosa District State High School - 2610
  • Burnside State High School - 2591
  • Sunshine Beach State High School - 2548

Source: State Government

Missed days

  • Thursday, 23,528
  • Tuesday, 23,237
  • Wednesday, 23,318
  • Friday, 22,713
  • Monday, 20,579