This is an official version.
Copyright © 2000: Queens Printer,
Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990
AN ACT RESPECTING SCHOOL ATTENDANCE
1. This Act may be cited as the School Attendance Act.
1978 c78 s1Back to Top
2. (1) In this Act
(a) "minister" means the Minister of Education;
(b) "principal" includes the principal of a school and the vice-principal when he or she is carrying out the duties of a principal, and a teacher in a sole charge school;
(c) "school" includes a public school and a private school as defined by section 2 of the Schools Act and a supplementary school as established under section 63 of that Act; and
(d) "supervisor" means the Supervisor of School Attendance in the Department of Education.
(2) Words and expressions defined by the Schools Act and used in this Act have the meanings assigned to them by that Act.
(3) Officials appointed under the Schools Act are referred to by their name of office as designated by that Act.
1978 c78 s2Back to Top
Application of Act
3. This Act applies to and in respect of a child who is 6 years of age or over and under the age of 16 years and includes a child who
(a) although he or she has not become 6 years old when school is first opened in the school year in which he or she is enrolled, will nevertheless become 6 years old on or before December 31 in that school year; and
(b) although he or she is 16 years of age, has reached that age after August 31 occurring immediately before the 1st school day of the school year.
1978 c78 s3; 1987 c2 s1Back to Top
4. A person having the care of a child shall unless excused under this Act cause that child to attend the school at which the child is enrolled.
1978 c78 s4Back to Top
Obligation of parents and others
5. The obligations imposed by this Act upon a person having the care of a child apply to both parents of that child, and in addition, where the child is in the care or legal custody of a person other than the child's parents, apply to that person.
1978 c78 s5Back to Top
Duty to enroll
6. (1) A person having the care of a child shall, on or before the date that this Act becomes applicable to that child, present the child for enrolment at a school of that person's selection.
(2) A person who takes up residence in the province and has the care of a child shall present that child for enrolment at a school of that person's selection within 2 weeks after taking up residence in the province.
(3) Where a person having the care of a child enrolled that child for attendance at a school and later proposes to send the child to another school, that person shall notify the principal of the school where the child is enrolled and cancel the enrolment and shall immediately enroll the child at another school.
1978 c78 s6Back to Top
7. A principal of a school shall keep a register in which he or she shall record the names of children who have been accepted as students for attendance at that school.
1978 c78 s7Back to Top
Excuse for non-attendance
8. A child is excused from attendance at school where
(a) the child is unable to attend school because of illness or other unavoidable cause and the teacher is advised of the illness or other cause, but the principal may require that the illness be certified by a qualified medical practitioner;
(b) the child has been expelled or suspended from school under the Schools Act;
(c) the child has the written permission of the principal to be absent from school because in the opinion of the principal, the child will be exposed to other experiences of significant educational and social values;
(d) the child is under efficient instruction at home or elsewhere and approval has been given by the supervisor; and
(e) the child is absent for another reason that in the opinion of the principal does not constitute neglect or refusal referred to in section 11.
1978 c78 s8Back to Top
Responsibility for attendance
9. (1) A teacher shall to the best of his or her ability carry out this Act to secure the full and regular attendance at his or her school of the children enrolled there.
(2) A school and a school board shall co-operate fully with government departments and agencies, local organizations and societies that are actively interested in the welfare of children.
(3) Where a principal
(a) is satisfied that efforts have been made by a school and a school board, in co-operation with other organizations, to convince a child who has been absent from school to return to regular attendance at school; and
(b) feels that the absence of a child constitutes a breach of this Act,
the principal shall provide a report to the supervisor advising him or her of the facts set out in paragraphs (a) and (b).
(4) Where in the opinion of the supervisor the parents of a child have contravened this Act, he or she shall report the fact to the minister.
(5) In the case of a supplementary school or a private school, the principal of the school shall report directly to the supervisor.
1978 c78 s9Back to Top
10. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations for carrying out the purpose of this Act and may make regulations respecting the administration of this Act.
1978 c78 s10Back to Top
11. (1) A person having the care of a child who neglects or refuses to cause that child to attend school under this Act is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days or to both a fine and imprisonment.
(2) Each neglect or refusal referred to in subsection (1) in respect of a period during which school was kept without interval constitutes a separate offence.
1978 c78 s11Back to Top
12. Where a person has been charged with an offence referred to in section 11 and it is proved that the child in respect of whom the charge was laid was absent from school during a period in which school was kept without interval, that proof is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence of the offence, and unless the innocence of the person charged is proved to the satisfaction of the court of summary jurisdiction trying the charge, that person is guilty of the offence.
1978 c78 s12Back to Top
Offence under s.6
13. A person who fails to comply with section 6 is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $25 for every day during which he or she continues in default.
1978 c78 s13Back to Top
14. A court of summary jurisdiction may, instead of or in addition to imposing a penalty under section 11, require a person convicted of an offence under that section to give a bond in the penal sum of $200, with 1 or more securities to be approved by the court, on the condition that the person convicted will after the expiration of 5 days cause the child to attend school as required by this Act.
1978 c78 s14Back to Top
Threats and interference
15. A person who by threat, intimidation or otherwise prevents or attempts to prevent the attendance of a child at school under this Act or who interferes or attempts to interfere with the operation of this Act is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days or to both a fine and imprisonment.
1978 c78 s15Back to Top
Evidential value of register
16. (1) A copy of the register of a school, certified by the principal of that school is admissible in evidence in courts in a prosecution for an offence under this Act and in the absence of evidence to the contrary is proof of the information contained in the register without proof of the signature or the official character of the person appearing to have signed the register.
(2) Where it is impossible or impractical to make a copy of the register without removing the register from a school, a certificate signed by the principal of that school respecting the attendance or non-attendance of a child at school is admissible in evidence in courts in a prosecution for an offence under this Act and in the absence of evidence to the contrary is proof of the information contained in the register without proof of the signature or the official character of the person appearing to have signed the register.
1978 c78 s16Back to Top
Presumption of age
17. Where a person is charged with an offence under this Act in relation to a child in respect of whom it is alleged this Act applies and that child appears to the court trying the charge to be within the limits prescribed by section 3, the child shall be considered to be within those limits unless the contrary is proved.
1978 c78 s17Back to Top
Payment of fees or other charges
18. A child shall not be denied enrolment at or admission to a school by reason only that an assessment or other charge payable on account of the enrolment or attendance of the child at that school has not been paid, but nothing in this section affects a right, remedy, obligation or liability arising out of the non-payment of that assessment or other charge.
1978 c78 s18
©Earl G. Tucker, Queen's Printer