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Who is missing out and what are they missing? How the association between absence and achievement varies across students, schools, subjects, and reasons for absence.

Kirsten Hancock

This presentation addresses several questions about the nature of the association between higher absences and lower achievement outcomes. Does the relationship depend on the type of absence? Are absences more problematic for some students than others? How do the socioeconomic characteristics of students and schools affect these patterns? The research uses administrative absence data and NAPLAN scores from the population of Western Australian students attending government schools between 2008 and 2016. Assumptions about the potential impacts of absences are challenged, for example, that illnesses are ‘harmless’ and that low-achievers are more affected by absences than high-achievers. The presentation also discusses differences in what students are missing when they’re absent, how well they can catch up, and what this research can contribute to absence policies in Australia.

Kirsten Hancock is a Life Course Centre Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute, and Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. She uses a broad range of survey and administrative data resources to address questions concerning child development, particularly for vulnerable children and those in families with multiple generations of disadvantage. Kirsten’s current research includes the causes and consequences of school absences, intergenerational inequality in education, longitudinal trajectories of students throughout school, and the long-term school experiences of children with health and mental health concerns.

These seminars are highly suited to teachers, post-graduate students interested in action research and schools with active Professional Learning Communities.

RSVP Michelle Murphy for catering purposes.

These seminars are generously sponsored by the Teachers Mutual Bank.

Previous Seminars


Who is missing out and what are they missing? How the association between absence and achievement varies across students, schools, subjects, and reasons for absence.
Presented by Kirsten Hancock

Relief Teachers access to employment and professional learning: The forgotten cohort of teachers
Presented by Dr Helen Dempsey

Reading the Evidence: why Australia should not follow England into the literacy abyss
Presented by Dr Paul Gardner


Babbling Beasts and Where to Find Them
Presented by Melanie Hobbs

Challenges and opportunities in mixed-methods child-centred research: reflections from reading research with children and adolescents
Presented by Dr Margaret Merga


Where to Now in Your Action Research in Education Project?
Presented by Dr Pauline Roberts

Drafting Your Action Research in Education Project: Key Items for Consideration
Presented by Dr Gregory Hine


Complexity thinking and education research
Presented by Professor Brent Davis

Power and participatory methodologies in school-based intervention research
Presented by Professor Liesel Ebersohn

Multimodal Approaches to Video Analysis
Presented by Associate Professor Kay O’Halloran and Dr Sabine Tan


One hundred tonne plan: Sustainability cross curriculum priority action
Presented by Dr. Elaine Lewis

Visualising with 360 degree video: Capitalising on embodied perspectives in teacher education
Presented by Dr. Khadeeja Ibrahim-­Didi & Dr Matt Byrne


Teachers scaffold to create opportunities for student engagement and learning – do they and how can we know?
Presented by Professor Marja Vauras

Is NAPLAN a high-stakes test? And why does it matter?
Presented by Dr Greg Thompson

An examination of Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow in Western Australian school leaders’ work and learning
Presented by Dr Neil MacNeill

Resisting a ‘back to basics’ agenda: Literacy education and online discussion
Presented by Dr Wendy Cumming-Potvin (with co-author Dr Kathy Sanford)


Design-based research: Research that makes a difference in education
Presented by Professor Jan Herrington

It’s not just rock ‘n’ roll: Contemporary youth media, music, and critical pedagogy
Presented by Professor Shirley Steinberg, University of Calgary

Critical pedagogy and qualitative research: A conversation with Shirley Steinberg
Presented by Professor Shirley Steinberg, University of Calgary

Pathways into university for international students: Which ways for success?
Presented by Associate Professor Rhonda Oliver

Keeping cool: What makes a resilient teacher?
Presented by Dr Susan Beltman and Dr Caroline Mansfield


Working to be different: Change for social inclusion
Presented by Professor Brenda Cherednichenko

Towards academic excellence: A qualitative study of students, parents and teachers
Presented by Dr Lesley Williams

Literature in Australian schools, 1945-2005: A first look at the data
Presented by Associate Professor Tim Dolin and Dr John Yiannakis

Prior to 2011