Attendance is a shared responsibility

Going to school every day is important for students to develop skills for lifelong learning.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and tumuaki
  • Teachers and kaiako
  • School administrators
  • Parents, caregivers and whānau

There’s a clear connection between going to school regularly and doing well in the classroom. Higher levels of educational achievement can mean better health, higher incomes, better job stability, and more participation in communities. This all makes society stronger and more connected.

Students aged 6 to 16 years old are legally required to attend school every day. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure our children attend and engage in learning from when they first start school.  

Our shared attendance responsibilities

Parents, whānau and caregivers

Parents, whānau and caregivers must make sure their children are at school every day and let the school know on the day if they’re absent. Family holidays or taking time off for extracurricular activities (not organised by school) are not acceptable reasons for being absent. 

Student attendance: Guide for parents and caregivers – Parents website(external link)

Schools and kura

Schools and kura must have their own attendance policies and procedures, and they must record and report on attendance. This includes a responsibility to take reasonable steps to make sure enrolled students attend whenever the school is open. This means if a student who is expected at school has not turned up then the school must notify a parent/caregiver in a timely manner so they can act accordingly. 

Student attendance: Guide for schools and kura

The Ministry

We are responsible for funding services and initiatives designed to support schools and kura to improve attendance, improving the quality and use of attendance data, and monitoring progress towards key attendance targets. We also create and put into action the rules and regulations that support and govern these obligations. 

We are publishing information about the numbers of students attending school each day. This is updated weekly on the Education Counts website.

Daily attendance - Education Counts(external link)

Attendance Service providers

Attendance Service providers are contracted to work with local schools, kura and communities to identify and support students on the cusp of persistent absence (attendance officers) and to work with disengaged students and their families to support them to attend school regularly (attendance advisors). 

As of January 2024, there are 79 Attendance Service providers who can support schools and kura.

Attendance Service

Apply for access to the attendance service application

Absence referrals from your school to the attendance service must be made through the attendance service application (ASA). The application records unjustified absence referrals and non-enrolment notifications.

Find out how to get access to and use ASA by following the link below.

Apply for access to the ASA

Electronic attendance register (eAR)

eAR is a tool that can be used to monitor attendance of students. To find out more about how to use eAR, applying for eAR, codes for recording and resources to support you to use it, follow the link below.

Electronic attendance register (eAR) tracks attendance

Early notification messages about absences

Early notification (EN) is a text and email messaging service that alerts parents and caregivers to their child absence. To find out more about how to get this service and training, follow the link below.

Early notification: messages about absences

Attendance data collections

We are collecting attendance and absence data from all state and state-integrated schools with an electronic attendance register (eAR).

You are asked to create the attendance file from your student management system (SMS) and to send it to us. Follow the link below for more information.

Attendance – Education Counts(external link)

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