Group demands action for sick kids missing school
UP TO 60,000 Australian children are missing out on school because of serious medical conditions, potentially leaving them behind academically.
A new study from the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth was released on Monday.
It found cancer, asthma, diabetes and cystic fibrosis were some of the common illnesses keeping children away from school.
A group called Missing School, led by Canberra mother Megan Gilmour, funded the research.
Ms Gilmour said one of the key problems the researchers faced was the lack of data about how many students were missing school and why.
The ARACY research showed it was a widespread problem, though, and she called on the government of Malcolm Turnbull to push state governments to do more.
She said while sick children were missing out on study, missing school also affected their mental wellbeing and chances to socialise with other children.
"The lack of systemic support in schools leaves families trying to do it on their own or relying on the goodwill of individual teachers," she said.
The report recommended a "first step" of counting missing students, creating "transition plans" for those away at hospital or home and extra support for families and the children.
Ms Gilmour said she planned to meet with the Prime Minister's office on the issue.