This is the main index page for attendance data. From here you can access data on attendance and analysis based on the data.

Key Findings: Data, Statistics and Publications


Established measures used to determine how well a result has been achieved in a particular area of interest. For example, the rate of student attendance and engagement help provide indications of where productive learning may be absent and behavioural issues may be present.


Attendance and Absence in New Zealand Schools is an annual publication that documents the findings of the surveys of state and state integrated schools.

Significant monitoring publications are produced each year. These tend to focus on a specific education sector, priority population group, and/or an education strategy related to one of these sectors or groups. Key measures such as student attendance rates are used in these publications.


Data released here are high-level aggregate views to support the Ministry’s reporting on the volumes of students returning back to early childhood services and schools during COVID-19.

Why is the Ministry collecting this data?

Attendance data are core information required for monitoring the schooling system.  The Ministry uses attendance data:

  • to monitor truancy patterns to support policy development
  • to support implementation and monitoring of interventions
  • to support a transparent and open system through public reporting

Attendance data is also used for general research and statistics, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993.  This may include linking attendance data with other student data, for example, for research on the correlation between student attendance and NCEA achievement.  Care is taken that no individual can ever be identified from published analysis.

The Measures

The key measure of attendance is the proportion of students who attend regularly, that is, the percentage of students who have attended more than 90% of half-days.  A half-day can either be the minimum two hours before, or after, noon contributing to the minimum four hours of a school day.

The Data Source

Historically our data collection for attendance was a weeklong paper-based survey, this subsequently moved to the electronic collection of data.  Since 2011, all state and state integrated schools in New Zealand have been invited to submit Term 2 attendance data.  Schools entering attendance records into their Student Management Systems (SMS) were asked to provide an extract of this data electronically.  From 2020 schools have been asked to provide attendance data for each term.

The electronic files supplied by schools contain detailed attendance records. Each half-day's attendance or non-attendance is then reported.

Collecting Data

When the collection first started schools provided data to the Ministry via data collection forms.  Now schools use the electronic attendance register (eAR) from their Student Management System (SMS) to create and send electronic attendance files.  Instructions on this process are available.

The information collected from schools as part of attendance data collection via SMS is SMS Student ID, National Student Number (NSN), gender, current year level, ethnicity, student type, attendance dates and attendance codes.

Every Day Matters

Every Day Matters (EDM) is a programme of work where participating schools provide the Ministry with attendance data each term which is analysed and returned to the school to assist with their monitoring of attendance.  Schools are encouraged to participate in EDM as it enables them to monitor specific groups of students and provides a more robust monitoring platform to track the impacts of initiatives to improve attendance. The aim is to use this data to help raise regular attendance.  Instructions on this process are available.

COVID-19 Weekly Attendance Collection

The Ministry is asking schools to provide attendance data on a weekly basis during the COVID-19 period to enable it to:

  • report to the National Crisis Monitoring Centre and government on levels of attendance during the COVID-19 period (aggregate only)
  • inform and support Ministry planning for students and schools returning to normal operation, and
  • evaluate and report on the effectiveness of initiatives implemented by the Ministry to respond and manage its response to COVID-19.

The information collected from schools as part of the weekly attendance data collection via SMS is the same as that collected in the term by term collection - SMS Student ID, National Student Number (NSN), gender, current year level, ethnicity, student type, attendance dates and attendance codes.

The weekly attendance data is only being used for the purposes listed above. It is securely sent to the Ministry  directly from the school’s SMS system. Iis held separately from the term by term attendance data in a secure Ministry system with restricted access.The weekly attendance data will be securely destroyed once the purposes stated above are no longer applicable.

The collection of attendance data (whether term by term or weekly) is not a mandatory collection, although we do strongly encourage schools to provide attendance data so our analysis and reporting of attendance is as accurate and reliable as possible.

Students/parents are able to request access to and correction of their information in the attendance data collection. Students/parents can make a request directly to their school.

Related Pages

Contact Us

Education Data Requests
If you have any questions about education data then please contact us at:
Email:     Requests EDK
Phone:   +64 4 463 8065

Weekly Attendance Data
If you have any questions about the collection of attendance data, including COVID-19 weekly attendance data, email the:
Every Day Matters Mailbox