Attendance Matters.......

The evidence shows that attendance is directly related to how well learners achieve. The more learners attend, the higher their achievement, and the more NCEA credits they gain. There is no safe level of non‑attendance – even missing just two days a term is linked to lower achievement.

Education Review Office 


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.

At Onehunga High School we strive to maintain high levels of attendance and punctuality. Our procedures emphasise individual student responsibility, with clear consequences for persistent absence and/or lateness to school. We appreciate your support of this system which is designed to support quality learning.

We encourage students to play their part by:

  • Being at school and in classes on time.
  • Getting parents or guardians to contact the school explaining any absence.
  • Taking responsibility for their own attendance and accepting any consequences they may receive as a result of lateness or truancy – being at school, learning matters. 

Early Notification

If your child is not at school and we have not heard from you then you will be contacted by text or email in the morning.  Please reply to this with details of the absence including how long your child will be away for.

If students are marked absent for a period throughout the day you will be contacted by text or an email, in the afternoon to advise you of the absence.

Report an absence

All absence from school must be explained.  If students are going to be away from school a Parent or Guardian must contact our Attendance Officer, Ms Talei Smith - 636 6006 ext 8022.

Leaving school during the day

Students are required to stay within the school grounds between 8.50am and 3.05pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and between 9.05am and 3.05p on Thursday. 

Students are not to leave the school grounds without permission, and an exeat pass. If your child needs to leave school during the day, please contact the school via ONE of these options:

  • Use of the School App to send through the reason for leaving school (as you would for an all-day absence) 
  • A note that explains the reason for leaving school - to be presented to the Attendance Officer. 
  • An email that explains the reason for leaving school. Please send to your Dean and Kaitiaki teacher.

Any student leaving school, during the school day, must go to the Student Centre before leaving school for two reasons: The student will be issued with a printed exeat pass that can be presented to staff who may see the student leaving school. 

It is critical that the school has an accurate record of students on site should an emergency occur that requires us to look for students. 

NOTE: If returning to the school a student must, on their return, sign in at the Student Centre.

Monitoring Attendance

The research clearly shows that to be successful in school, students need to maintain a high level of attendance both in school generally and for each of their subjects. We have set a minimum level of 85% attendance to be eligible for co-curricular activities such as sport, performing arts and the school ball. This includes 85% attendance for each subject and tutor time.

Every week we email home an attendance report for your child. Please look through this information to make sure it is accurate. Contact the school if you have any attendance concerns.


Punctuality is important. If your child is late to school, i.e., arrives after the 8.50am bell on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday, or after 9.10am on Thursday, they need to go to the Student Centre to sign in.

Holidays during term time

We strongly discourage students from taking time off school to go on holiday because of the impact that this can have on their learning. The Ministry of Education now classifies this sort of absence as unjustified.

Medical Certificates

Medical certificates are important to justify absence from school due to illness. In general we require medical certificates for any absence longer than three days. The exception to this is when a student is applying for an extension for an NCEA assessment.  In this situation a medical certificate is always required.

Our Attendance Officer is Ms Talei Smith If you have any queries about these procedures or if you would like further information please contact her on 636 6006 ext 8022.