Roll Marking in State Schools

Version Number


Implementation Date



All state schools


Each state school must implement an effective process for monitoring compulsory school attendance and participation, which is consistent with the Department of Education and Training policies and procedures including Managing Student Absences and Enforcing Enrolment and Attendance at State Schools. Each state school must also implement an effective process for monitoring attendance and participation in pre-prep, Prep and Early Childhood Development Programs.​​

This procedure outlines the process for recording student attendance and absence on state school rolls.​​​


Each parent of a child who is of compulsory school age must ensure that the child is enrolled and attends school on every school day for the educational program in which the child is enrolled unless the parent has a reasonable excuse. A parent of a young person in the compulsory participation phase must ensure the young person is participating full-time in an eligible option, unless the parent has a reasonable excuse.

As Prep is recognised as the first year of schooling in Queensland, parents whose children are enrolled in Prep should ensure they attend Prep on a full-time basis. 

Schools produce lists of enrolled or registered students in class or session groupings for the purpose of collecting information about attendance and absence. The information collected about attendances and absences for Prep, primary and secondary students must be recorded into the Department’s OneSchool data management system. This is the official complete record of information the school holds on the student’s attendance and absences and must be maintained with current information. It includes data gathered from lists such as registers, class rolls, sport rolls, excursion rolls, records of alterations to a student’s educational program, flexible arrangements, suspensions, vocational education and training, and hospital schools. It should also include advice from parents about student attendance via letter, text message, email or records of conversations.

Absence information should be uploaded to OneSchool each day if an electronic roll-marking system is used, and at least every three days if hard copy rolls are used. To meet legal and auditing requirements, all information collected by individual roll markers must be stored securely and in a suitable format that meets the requirements of the Public Records Act 2002 (Qld). For audit purposes, information should be able to be reproduced in a hard copy format at any time. Records should be retained in accordance with the Retention and Disposal Schedule for Schools.



  • assign roll marking responsibilities to appropriate staff
  • assign data entry of student attendances and absences to appropriate officers
  • ensure that roll markers and data entry officers understand and carry out their responsibilities
  • ensure casual and relieving teachers are provided with rolls for relevant classes
  • ensure that roll data is uploaded to OneSchool each day if using an electronic roll-marking system, and at least every three days if using hard copy rolls
  • ensure teachers in pre-prep and Early Childhood Development Centres monitor attendance
  • follow processes for ensuring schools record student attendance and absence
  • develop and document a communication process for parents to use when notifying the school of their child’s absence and make this publicly available through the school’s website, newsletters and enrolment package
  • ensure parents are notified of an unexplained absence of their child as soon as practicable on the day of the student’s absence (allowing time for parents to respond prior to the end of the school day)
  • ensure continued follow up occurs as practicable with parents regarding their child’s unexplained absence
  • establish a process for keeping records of contact with parents regarding student absences 
  • communicate processes and procedures for ‘late arrival’ and ‘early departure’ to parents and the school community through the school’s website and newsletters
  • determine whether explanations provided for student absences are reasonable, or not, and ensure that correct codes are used (see Guidelines for determining whether excuses for student absences are considered as ‘reasonable excuses’
  • implement failure to attend procedures outlined in Managing Student Absences and Enforcing Enrolment and Attendance in State Schools where appropriate
  • ensure specific procedures for the Day 8 enrolment collection, as provided to schools at the beginning of each year, are strictly followed.

For principals in relation to the Family Responsibilities Commission Act 2008 (Qld) (FRC Act) – people from the communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hopevale and Mossman Gorge may be subject to the Family Responsibilities Commission Act 2008 (Qld)

  • follow processes for principals in relation to the FRC Act 

Roll markers: 

  • ​follow process for roll marking 
  • ensure each student is marked as either present or absent from their educational program:
    • ​at the beginning of the school day and prior to the beginning of the afternoon sessions in primary and special schools
    • at the beginning of the school day and for each lesson in secondary schools.


  • ​ensure their child arrives at school or commences their educational program on time every day
  • ensure their child attends school or their educational program every school day
  • minimise disrupting their child’s school day so their child has the best opportunity to learn
  • provide their current contact details to the school to enable effective notification
  • contact the school prior to any planned absences
  • provide an explanation (preferably in writing) for each absence, either before or on the day of the absence, or as soon as  practicable, in accordance with the school’s communication processes. This may take the form of:
    • ​a medical certificate
    • a written explanation provided to the school via a note, email or text message containing the student’s name, date of absence(s) and reasons for absence(s)
    • a verbal explanation to the school through either a phone call or visit to the school
    • any other form of communication agreed by the Principal.
  • ensure their child follows the school’s recommended processes and procedures for late arrival and early departure
  • notify the school if their child will be late using the school’s recommended communication processes. This may take the form of:
    • ​accompanying the child to the school
    • phoning the school
    • emailing or sending a text message to the school
    • providing the child with a signed and dated note.


Processes for roll marking

  • ​For hard copy rolls, record whether a student is present or absent at a designated roll-marking session using consistent symbols such as (/) for present and (a) for absent or an appropriate Reason Code 
  • ensure there are no blank cells in a completed roll
  • if completing hard copy rolls, use either blue or black ink
  • initial and date rolls to certify the accuracy of their sightings of student attendance and marking of student absence after each entry, or if using an electronic marking system ensure there is an electronic record of this process
  • send student attendance and absence information to the office for data entry in accordance with school procedures
  • where students are absent from a class, report the absence as soon as practicable in accordance with the school’s procedures.

Processes for state school principals

Processes for principals in relation to the FRC Act

  • ​use the FRC School Attendance Guidelines to determine whether a student has been absent from school and whether a student’s reason for being absent from school is reasonable
  • report to the FRC where a student is absent from school for all or part of any 3 school days in a school term where the principal is not satisfied that there is a reasonable explanation for the absence
  • notify the FRC of the absences on the approved form, as soon as practicable, but not more than 10 school days after the third absence happens.
Processes for schools in response to an extreme weather event or natural disaster
When a school is open but students are unable to attend:
  • record the full or part-day absence using the Absence Reason Code N (Natural Disaster) regardless of whether or not the student is continuing with school work while away from school. 
When a school has been closed:
  • ​record the school closure in the OneSchool School Calendar by adding that date as a Non-School Day with a Day Type of ‘School Closure’ (Instructions for this process can be found in OneSchool (available to DET employees only))
  • roll marking on the day of the closure is not required.

Online Resources

Review Date

Attribution CC BY

Parent (Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) s. 10)
The Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld), Section 10 defines the meaning of parent as:

1. A parent, of a child, is any of the following persons –

a) the child’s mother;
b) the child’s father;
c) a person who exercises parental responsibility for the child.

2. However, a person standing in the place of a parent of a child on a temporary basis is not a parent of the child.
3. A parent of an Aboriginal child includes a person who, under Aboriginal tradition, is regarded as a parent of the child.
4. A parent of a Torres Strait Islander child includes a person who, under Island custom, is regarded as a parent of the child.
5. Despite subsections (1), (3) and (4), if –

a) a person is granted guardianship of a child under the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld); or
b) a person otherwise exercises parental responsibility for a child under a decision or order of a federal court or a court of a State; 
then a reference in this Act to a parent of a child is a reference only to a person mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b).

Compulsory school age (Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) s.9) 
A child is of compulsory school age if the child is at least 6 years and 6 months, and less than 16 years.

However, a child is no longer of compulsory school age if the child has completed Year 10.

Compulsory participation phase (Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) s.231)
A young person's compulsory participation phase starts when s/he stops being of compulsory school age (i.e. turns 16 or completes Year 10 whichever comes first) and ends when the person:

  • gains a Certificate of Achievement, Senior Statement, Certificate III or Certificate IV; or
  • has participated in eligible options for 2 years after the person stopped being of compulsory school age; or
  • turns 17.

Eligible option (Education (General Provisions) Act (Qld) s. 232)
An eligible option is a recognised education or training program or course, offered by a recognised provider, which will enable a young person to gain a Certificate of Achievement, Senior Statement, and/or a Certificate III or IV. Eligible options and providers are listed in the following table:

​Eligible Option ​Provider
​An educational program provided under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) ​a State school
​An educational program provided under the Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2001 (Qld) ​a non-State school
​A course of study under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cwlth) ​a registered higher education provider
​A vocational education and training course under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (Cwlth) ​a registered training organisation
​​An apprenticeship or traineeship under the Further Education and Training Act 2014 (Qld) ​a registered training organisation
​A departmental employment skills development program under the Further Education and Training Act 2014 (Qld) ​the chief executive administering the Further Education and Training Act 2014 (Qld)

Roll marking
Information collected either electronically or in hard copy about a student’s attendance or absence from school.

Unexplained absence
When no explanation for a student absence has been offered to the school by the parent, or the student if they are living independently.