Students are missing up to one year's worth of classes by the time they reach Year 10, as attendance rates hover below 90 per cent in three Griffith schools.
The latest figures from the NSW Department of Education show that last year Griffith High, Wade High, and Griffith Public School had attendance rates of 84, 88.6, and 89.7 per cent respectively.
That compares unfavourably to the rest of NSW; out of 2097 public schools listed in the report, only about 470 schools dipped anywhere below the 90 per cent mark.
And that's not even counting for the number of classes missed due to a lack of teaching staff.
The situation is especially dire for some indigenous students; at Griffith High indigenous students had a 68 per cent attendance rate.
A NSW Department of Education spokesman said they were aware of the problems and were working towards improving those outcomes.
"The Department has a focus on improving student attendance and is using data to identify those schools that may have strong whole school approaches to promote attendance, as well as schools where attendance is lower."
The spokesman said Wade and Griffith High had shown some improvements in 2018 compared to 2015, and that the newly merged Murrumbidgee Regional High School had several initiatives to improve attendance rates.
He said Murrmbidgee Regional High School was broadening courses to maintain student enthusiasm, providing learning coach sessions, and hiring two deputy principals and an instructional leader to keep attendance levels up.
The spokesperson said these initiatives "impact positively on individual students and can foster stronger attendance rates as well as raising educational outcomes and life opportunities."
When it comes to indigenous attendance rates, the spokesperson said groups such as Clontarf and Girls Academies were "having success" in raising attendance levels and closing the gap.
Across the rest of NSW, attendance rates for public schools remained more or less the same from 2006 to 2018.
The department's figures show lower attendance rates in regional and rural schools, which are about 7 percentage points lower compared to their metropolitan counterparts.
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