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Back to school: NSW schools’ attendance rate reflects parent sentiment

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NSW schools have seen an 86 per cent attendance rate on the first day of full-time schooling as coronavirus restrictions continue to ease.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell told Deborah Knight the absenteeism for today is sitting at 14 per cent.

“Which is great because in normal times we’d … have just under 10 per cent absenteeism on any given day.”

Ms Mitchell is pleased with these results saying it’s all about what’s best for the children.

“We’ve done a good job to reassure parents that our schools are safe. We’ve got the health advice that backs that up and we’ve also got all the additional cleaning measures.”

When it comes to the extra adjustments around public transport the minister said the reports have been largely positive.

“There has been a bit of congestion in traffic with a few more cars on the road near school sites in local areas, but a lot of kids are walking, riding bikes.

“I think the community and parents have listened … there’s been that commonsense approach.”

And for Year 12 students, Ms Mitchell says there’s a subcommittee currently examining what can be done to support these students including delaying final exams, modifying marking criteria on assessments, and talking with universities to help guide future enrolments.

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Image: Getty