Western Australian parents could be fined for school no shows as mandatory attendance returns


Western Australia has not ruled out fining parents who refuse to send their children to school without a valid reason.

Premier Mark McGowan announced on Thursday that the state will reinstate compulsory attendance at public, Catholic and independent schools from next week.

Parents had the option of keeping kids home from school for the first few weeks of term two but they will be required to attend from Monday.

“Face-to-face learning is the best way of your children getting ahead in life.

“So I’d just encourage everyone to listen to the advice and send your kids to school.”

The premier warned those who fail to comply without a valid reason could be fined which will be policed under the state of emergency powers.

Students with medical vulnerabilities or those who have family members with chronic health issues will be granted exemptions and can continue to learn from home.

$1,000

Education Minister Sue Ellery told reporters that “nervousness” about the return to school would not qualify as an exemption.

“The fines are $1,000 but there is an extensive process ... that tries to engage families to try and address the absenteeism,” she said.

Students who do not return to school without exemptions will no longer be provided with home learning materials.

Most students have already returned to public classrooms with attendance above 85 per cent on Wednesday, but still 5 per cent below pre-COVID levels.


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