Every Day Counts

The ‘Every Day Counts’ campaign is a Burnie Works’ initiative to contribute to improving student attendance at school through a shared commitment by students, parents, caregivers, schools and the community.

School attendance in Tasmanian schools has dropped over the past two years. In October 2022, the Australian Senate Education and Employment References Committee announced an inquiry into the national trend affecting primary and secondary school-aged children who are unable to attend school regularly or on a consistent basis.

Burnie Works is committed to working with our partners and community to improve this situation for our young people during 2023.

We’re All Glad You’re Here

Hellyer College students, their student leadership team, and the Media Production class present their advertisement that explores issues around school attendance for young people in Burnie.

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In the Media

January 15 2024

In2School program — an intervention program delivered in partnership with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and the Royal Children’s Hospital Mental Health.

It assists students aged between 11 and 14 (and their families) who have been refusing school and have a diagnosis of anxiety and/or mood disorders.

Read the article

August 12 2023

The Senate committee made 14 recommendations, including extra subsidised mental health visits for young people, earlier interventions, and funding a “one-stop shop” support service providing resources and advice for parents. 

It specifically recommended priority funding for School Can’t, an online support group for parents whose kids have difficulty attending school.

Read the article

May 28 2023

Attendance rates across the state’s schools (NSW) tumbled to historic lows last year, with students missing a total 3.8 million days in which parents failed to explain the absence.

“Students who miss just one day of school a fortnight will miss the equivalent of an entire yearof learning at the end of their school careers,” NSW Education Minister Prue Car said.

Teacher shortages are also contributing to pupils missing school days, NSW TeachersFederation president Angelo Gavrielatos said.
“If students are spending time in libraries or halls when there is no teacher to take a class that can mean pupils are less likely to go to school. It can mean the most disadvantaged students are missing out even more,” he said.

Principals say breakfast clubs and providing buses to pick up chronically absent students has been shown to lift attendance, while punitive measures are less likely to be effective.

Read the article

February 2023

Authors Nigel Howard – Research associate, Flinders University Andrew Bills, Researcher into Educational Leadership and Policy, Flinders University

  • Today federal and state education ministers are meeting to talk about school attendance.
  • What is happening with school attendance
  • Why is this happening?
  • What engaged and disengaged students say
  • Why are students disengaging?
  • Schools need to be able to focus on more than tests

    Read story

February 2023

Educations experts call for classroom reform as a small but growing minority of students are refusing to attend school as new data released by the Productivity Commission shows the rate of children staying home from school is on the rise.


February 2023

  • New data reveals the rate of children staying home from school, whether for mental health or illness, is on the rise.
  • The national primary school attendance rate was 87.8 per cent in 2022, a 4.5 per cent drop from 2021,
  • High school attendance sunk to to 84.7 per cent — a 4.1 per cent drop from 2021 after years of small declines

    Read story

February 2023

Lived experience highlighting systems issues that relate to school refusal.
Read story

February 2023

The lived experience stories in this article bring up more issues and things to think about as we work together to make Every Day Count for Burnie students in 2023!

Read story

January 2023


  • The use of screens during COVID-19’s onset led to more screen addiction, researchers say.
  • Psychologists believe some children use screens excessively as a coping tool.
  • Experts say children can overcome their addiction with proper support and understanding.

Read story

January 2023

Burnie Works is excited to launch the ‘Every Day Counts’ campaign for 2023.

Read full media release

December 2022

Instances of school refusal are becoming more common as schools struggle to manage the issue. A parliamentary committee is currently examining the issue at the Senate Inquiry into the National Trend of School Refusal.

Read story

November 2022

A national survey of almost 2,000 parents and carers whose children are supported by The Smith Family has revealed the extent of the fallout from cost-of-living increases on children’s education, with many families finding it harder to afford school essentials and rising costs adding to the significant educational challenges already faced by children experiencing disadvantage.

Read full media release

Supporting Information

As part of understanding and communicating the outcomes and impact of a range of Burnie Works’ activities we have been collecting Most Significant Change (MSC) Stories.

Read the Every Day Counts MSC Stories.

On 27 October 2022 the Senate referred the inquiry into the national trend of school refusal and related matters to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 22 March 2023.

Tasmanian submissions
UTAS Peter Underwood Centre
Office of the Education Registrar
Final Report

More information

This year we have embarked on an exciting project with Hellyer College.

We facilitated a workshop with the Hellyer Student Leadership Group to identify issues and opportunities in regard to school attendance.

The SLG then went out to a wider audience at their school and undertook a research project in the form of a survey.

The Media Production class is now using these insights to develop a campaign.

We can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Read the Advertising Brief

We held a workshop with the Hellyer College Student Leadership Group in April.

We gained some valuable insights into the barriers facing students when it comes to school attendance.

Student Factors related to the individual student that are likely to influence attendance.

Family Factors likely to influence a student’s attendance.

Community Factors are out-of-school, community-wide influences on attendance.

Download the Research

Research – AIHW 2014a; AITSL 2019; Mills et al. 2019.

Burnie Works worked with the 2022 Burnie City Youth Council to produce a campaign advertisement aimed at raising awareness about the importance of going to school every day.

You have probably seen it at the movies or on social media.

Learn more

A review of the drivers of school attendance and best practice approaches.

Read report

Burnie Works hosts a monthly Community Conversation at Burnie Library’s Chatty Cafe.  This is part of our Community Knowledge Collectors Project. We ask a different question each month.

This is the response to this month’s question.

Burnie Works hosts a monthly Community Conversation at Burnie Library’s Chatty Cafe.  This is part of our Community Knowledge Collectors Project. We ask a different question each month.

This is the response to this month’s question.

Burnie Works is delivering the Every Day Counts Campaign with support from the Burnie City Youth Council and the Every Day Counts Community Network.

Want to know more?

Contact Nikki

Ph: 0491 176 739

Making a campaign ad!