Students attending school regularly

Why This Is Important

Students who are absent from class have an increased risk of alienation from the education system.

In addition to impacting on attainment rates and wellbeing of students, Longitudinal studies of children in Christchurch and Dunedin have further found school absence to be a strong predictor of violence later in life, as well as an anticipatory of delinquency, substance abuse, suicidal risk, unemployment and early parenting. There is considerable concern surrounding the links between truancy and crime.1


Percentage of students attending school regularly


Numerator: (Data Source: Ministry of Education: Attendance Survey)


The total number of students who have attended more than 90% of all school time in Term 2, where time is measured in half-days.

Denominator: (Data Source: Ministry of Education: Attendance Survey)


The total number of students enrolled for 30 half-days or more during Term 2, in each survey year.


The regular attendance indicator looks at data generated by the 2019 Attendance Survey taken during term 2, between the end of April and the beginning of July. It is a voluntary survey run in both primary and secondary schools.

Student attendance data is published annually as part of a series of attendance information the Ministry of Education publishes. The report provides a picture of attendance in New Zealand schools to help schools, Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako and other sector representatives understand patterns of attendance and how these can affect a student’s achievement and wellbeing.

Term 2 2019 included 96 half-days (excluding strike days). Data was received from 2,184 schools, representing 96% of enrolled students across New Zealand (734,751).

Using this data, we report on the proportion of students attending school greater than 90% of available half-days (regular attendance).

Interpretation issues

The students whose ethnicity was recorded as "Unknown" or "Other", in 2019, have been reported as part of the total only.

Detailed attendance records are required for the analysis performed in this report, therefore only schools that can provide attendance data electronically are able to participate in this analysis. In earlier years, there were more schools that could not provide electronic extracts of their attendance data, and these schools were typically smaller primary schools. Therefore the data in this analysis has become more representative over time, as more schools are able to provide this data.

Being present at school does not include justifiable (nor unjustifiable) absence from school, but does include classes where a student is at school attending an appointment or on a school organized outing.

The response rate for Term 2, 2019, attendance data was 90% of all state and state-integrated schools, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from 2018 (88.2%). This represents 94.3% of the student population in all state and state integrated schools on 1 July, 2019


  1. “Cited” 2014 Determinants of Health Truancy and Unjustified Absences.

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