A school authority may refer a student with a pattern of chronic non-attendance to the Attendance Board if their efforts to enforce attendance and re-engagement in learning have been unsuccessful.
Where chronic non-attendance cannot be resolved locally, public school authorities may refer the matter to the Attendance Board for support and direction. Private school authorities are required to make a referral. An Attendance Board panel is convened to hear the case.
Attendance Board members are appointed by the Minister of Education. Board members may, for example, be parents, grandparents, general public, retired educators, business people and other professionals.
Attendance Board Hearings include the student, the students’ parents or guardians and any other witnesses that the panel feels can contribute relevant information. Once all witnesses contribute to the story about the student’s non-attendance and questions are answered, panel members explore options to assist with getting the student to attend school and re-engage in learning.
The panel may give direction to the student and/or the parent/guardian that it considers appropriate and enforce the ruling by registering it as an order of the Court of Queen’s Bench.
The School Act provides direction about school attendance and the Attendance Board.
The School Act requires:
A Public School authority may make a referral to the Attendance Board when a student is not attending.
The School Act (sections 126, 127, 128, 129 and 130) sets out all matters related to the duties, powers and establishment of an Attendance Board panel.