Attendance in New Zealand schools 2014

31 Aug 2015

Executive summary

The Ministry monitors school attendance annually by means of a voluntary survey. The survey gives us some useful reference points – such as areas where there are higher rates of truancy – but it does not enable a complete analysis. Because it is based on only one week of the year, we cannot tell if there are any changes in attendance rates over the course of the year – or whether a school's absence rate is caused by a lot of students being absent a little, or a few students being absent a lot.

  • In 2014, all state and state integrated schools were invited to participate in the attendance survey.  The response rate was 75%, compared to 80% in 2013.
  • Rates of absence have increased in 2014 compared to 2013 due to an increase in the number of teaching periods where students were truant (up from 1.5% in 2013 to 1.8% in 2014) or absent for a reason that was explained but not justified (up from 1.1% in 2013 to 1.3% in 2014).
  • The national absence rate (both justified and unjustified absences) during the week of 9-13 June 2014 was 10.8%, or 79,000 students per day, with a margin of error of 0.7%. The 2014 national absence rate was significantly higher than the rate in 2012, but it was not significantly higher than in any other year.
  • The total unjustified absence rate, or truancy rate, was 4.6%.  This compares to 3.9% in 2013, 3.8% in 2012, and 4.0% in 2011.
  • The national frequent truant rate (students who were unjustifiably absent for three or more days in the survey week) was 1.3%.  This rate is higher than 2013 and 2012 (both 1.0%).  Frequent truancy was highest for students in year 13 (2.4%) and for Māori students (2.5%).
Publication Details
Published year only: 
Subject Areas
Geographic Coverage