Attendance support in 2024

Issue: Volume 103, Number 2

Posted: 22 February 2024
Reference #: 1HAfCm

The latest term 3, 2023 results show only 45.9% of students are regularly attending schools and kura.

School attendance

For too long, the number of students attending school regularly has not been good enough. Attendance is the first step in accessing learning and is essential to achieving education success and improving wellbeing and lifelong outcomes. This is crucial if we are to deliver high-quality learning that enables students to progress and achieve.

Parents, caregivers, families, and schools have the greatest impact on getting our students to attend school.

School and kura-led initiatives are some of the most effective ways to influence attendance, and it is important this continues. The Ministry of Education is evaluating recent attendance initiatives and will share findings with school leaders as soon as they are available so that effective initiatives can be scaled up quickly.

Given the importance of regular attendance, schools and kura need to continue to reinforce with parents and caregivers their legal obligations.

Schools and kura with higher attendance rates have clear processes to identify and manage attendance issues, including an escalation process, as well as setting strong expectations and highlighting the impact unjustified absence (including holidays during term time) is having on learning.

The Ministry is working on initiatives, including supports with escalation processes and being clear on expectations, to support schools and kura with this.

Attendance indicators

The term 3, 2023 results show that illness continues to impact attendance. The attendance indicators introduced last year monitor the extent to which schools are obtaining and coding the reasons for student absences by the end of each week.

This is reported publicly in the Schools Response to Absence report. The Ministry have heard that more clarity is required in how absences are treated and coded and they are working on improvements in this space.

Existing support for attendance is in place and remains available to schools and kura, parents and caregivers.

This includes the Attendance Service which has attendance officers available to work directly with schools to help analyse and understand the drivers of absence and share a range of responses and practices, and attendance advisors who can work with students and their families to address underlying issues impacting attendance.

Regular attendance has a direct link with educational achievement and leads to better life outcomes across the duration of a student’s life. We all have a role to play making the difference we need to make.

 School attendance

More support

Managing student attendance – Ministry of Education(external link)

Complete a quick attendance self-review:

Additional indicators school user guide(external link)

Schools response to absence – Education Counts(external link)

Schools can also contact their local Te Mahau office if they need additional support or information.

Attendance is linked to both student wellbeing and to attainment.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:51 am, 22 February 2024

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