Email: | Phone: (+64 4) 478 8189


Students who attend their classes, in general are engaged in school and learning and achieve.

Non attendance at classes can be a sign that a student is disengaging and can adversely affect their achievement. Absences without permission will be regarded as truancy.

Onslow College uses a range of strategies to support attendance:

  • An Attendance Officer (Jo Davenport-Brown) -
  • Early Notification (EN) - texts and emails sent out during the day if a student is unexplained absent from class.
  • Ako Teachers continuing to chase up unexplained absences and support students by keeping them and their parents/caregivers aware
  • Subject Teachers alerting Ako Teachers and Deans if a student starts not attending their classes.
  • Ako Teachers, Subject Teachers, Deans and other staff supporting students to learn and be engaged and to check out if everything is ok if they are worried.

Attendance - Parent Role

  • As a courtesy and safety measure, parents/caregivers should contact the school to inform us of any unavoidable student absences. The school is to be notified EACH day a student is absent. Parents should contact the school as early as possible:

e‑mail:; phone: (04) 478 8189

  • Students must sign in at the office if they arrive late.
  • Students who are ill must go to the office first and be collected from there by parents.
  • Establishing an email contact with your student’s Ako Teacher and Subject Teachers, then keeping them informed of absences throughout the year is very helpful.
  • In particular, if your student is absent during an NCEA assessment spell, day or week it is critical to inform the Subject Teacher and supply a medical certificate.

Extended Student Absence - Ministry of Education (MOE) Requirement

  • It is a Ministry requirement that when students are going to be absent from school for a day or more for a reason other than sickness, bereavement etc., approval for such absence must be sought from the Principal.
  • Email the Principal, Sheena Millar, on requesting approval and advising the details of such absence as soon as possible before the requested leave.
  • Please take into consideration NCEA Assessments if you are a senior student.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to inform all their teachers as soon as the leave is confirmed by the Principal.

Attendance - Student Role

  • Attend ALL your timetabled classes, Ako times and assemblies.
  • If you miss a class, Ako or assembly you must provide a parental or teacher written explanation for the absence. It is YOUR responsibility to explain the absence by providing signed written explanation from parent or teacher of the class you missed.
  • Students must bring a note to their Ako Teacher on the day of their return unless parents have already explained the absence to the attendance line or Attendance Officer.
  • Students who need to leave school during the day must sign out, and they must also sign in upon return. If signing in or out for an appointment, students should take their note with them to show the office staff unless parents have already explained the absence to the office.
  • Year 9-12 students may not leave the school during the day without written permission from their caregivers. Year 11 and Year 12 students may go home after spell 4 if they do not have a scheduled class spell 5. Senior students may start at Spell 2 if they have a free Spell 1.

Attendance - Ako Role

  • At Ako time, the Ako Teacher will ask students to explain any ‘unexplained absences’.
  • They will email/phone home if there are concerns about attendance and if there are THREE unexplained absences.
  • They will email/phone home again if absences and lateness continue to be a problem.
  • If the situation continues to be a concern, the Ako Teacher will refer the student to the Dean.
  • The Dean will contact parents and meet with the student – it is likely that the student will be placed on an attendance report.
  • Once attendance gets back to normal the Dean will refer the student back to the Ako Teacher.
  • If there is no improvement, the student will be referred to the Deputy Principal.

Please note that situations can vary between students and the school will use the best support strategy to help your student. In particular, if your student is absent during an NCEA assessment spell, day or week, it is critical to inform the Subject Teacher and supply a medical certificate.