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Spread of SMS service to stop kids wagging school

St Patrick's Ballarat, in Victoria, is the latest Catholic school to use mobile phone messaging to help parents and teachers keep track of school children and crack down on absenteeism.

ABC Local Radio in Ballarat reports that the Christian Brothers school is the first Catholic school in Victoria to bring in the technology, which has been adopted by around 150 schools nationwide.

"Basically what happens is an automated solution... it hooks into the school's admin database, electronic or manual roll-call systems... if a student is absent without a reason, our system can send automated messages to parent's mobile phones," says Anshu Bhaskar, whose company is rolling out the technology at one of Ballarat's established private schools.

Mr Bhaskar said his company's research shows that the system can cut unexplained absences by up to 80%.

"What this thing does in reality is bring the whole school community together and it makes responsible all the stakeholders - whether it is the students, so they know they have to do the right thing and get a late pass; the parents, who have to inform the school; and the school has to do its duty of care and tell the parents what's happening," he says.

New SMS service to stop kids wagging school (ABC Ballarat 16/2/05)

St Patrick's Ballarat
MGM Wireless

De La Salle Brother hails success of SMS truant monitoring (CathNews 13/12/04)

17 Feb 2005