Every Day Matters

Instructions on how to create and send electronic Attendance Data files.


For students to gain the numerous benefits of school, attendance is critical. Attending school helps set children up for life. Principals and their boards and staff help ensure that students, parents and caregivers all take student attendance seriously and that children go to school unless they are sick.

Nationally, the past few years have seen substantial drops in the number of students going to school ‘regularly’.* Alongside a trend of high absences on Mondays and Fridays and nearing the end of term, there has been a worrying rise in the number of absences due to reported ‘illness’ and an equally worrying rise in the number of students who report ‘skipping’ school.

Because of the importance of attendance and these worrying trends, the Ministry’s collection of school attendance data has changed. Until 2019, most schools submitted attendance data for Term 2 only. From 2020, attendance data is collected from schools every term, as authorised by the provisions of the Education Act. This term-by-term collection of attendance data is known as Every Day Matters.

Understanding the attendance data and patterns for the school is vitally important to schools to ensure students have every opportunity to be successful. Schools that submit data every term receive a summary report of their data entitled Every Day Matters to support discussions and opportunities to improve attendance. (Examples reports sent in 2017 can be found below.) After the collection has closed and all data has been processed, schools also receive a supplemental report including comparisons of their data to national and similar schools. These reports help school leaders and their boards maintain and refresh the school’s attendance strategies.

*‘Regular’ attendance is defined for statistical purposes as 90% attendance or higher. However, Ministry analysis shows there is no ‘safe’ level of non-attendance; every day matters. Every day at school has a cumulative impact on students’ learning. A child with an average of 90% attendance will miss the equivalent of one year of schooling in ten.

How to Prepare the data

To create and send the correct attendance file to the Ministry, use the instructions for the Student Management System (SMS) used at your school.

Before you create your file, please update any missing attendance codes in your electronic attendance register (eAR). The Ministry will treat all blanks and "?" where the school has not recorded an attendance code as truant, so update as many as you can.

The attendance data file will be for a term’s attendance. The dates for each term in 2020 are:

  • Term 1 - 27 Jan to 27 Mar
  • Term 2 - 15 Apr to 03 Jul
  • Term 3 - 20 Jul to 25 Sep
  • Term 4 - 12 Oct to 18 Dec

Name the file in this way: [School ID]ATT[Term start date_Term end date] e.g. 1234ATT28Jan19-12Apr19

SMS vendors have provided instructions showing how to create the Attendance Data Files:

Instructions on How to Create Attendance Data FilesFile Type & Size

How to Send the Data

Data should be sent using the secure Ministry’s School Data Portal. This is the same portal that many schools use to send in the .moe file for Roll Returns.

Schools with KAMAR and PCSCHOOL student management systems should also have the simpler option of sending via DEX.

Instructions on How to Submit Attendance Data Files File Type & Size

Example Attendance Files

Download Example Attendance Files:File Type & Size

Contact Us

For more information or assistance with Every Day Matters please email the:
Every Day Matters Mailbox