Attendance - Every minute counts

Every Minute Counts
Did you know that being 10 minutes late every day equates to a week off school a year. Arriving late for school can have a negative impact on the learning of our rangatahi as they can miss out on important instruction and this can also disrupt the teaching and learning of their class. Students can also feel whakama about walking into the class late and this can lead to increased truancy. Arriving on time helps prepare rangatahi for the punctuality expectations of life in the workforce.

We do understand that traffic in Auckland can be difficult but urge all caregivers to plan for this if they are dropping students to school. We also understand that there are times when being late is unavoidable but again urge caregivers to keep this to a minimum.

We operate a high trust model for lates with our students but will inform parents when a pattern of lateness is becoming apparent. Students do have to sign in when late and caregivers can contact the school on the portal with any explanation (click on Report Absence). A reminder that parents and caregivers can sign into the portal using Facebook, Google or Microsoft credentials or via the magic link if necessary. If you are using Facebook, Microsoft or Google you use your own password for those accounts. Please ensure you use the email account registered with the school. 

8.30 – Arriving before class starts allows students to get settled and ready to learn

8.50 – Students are rushed and unlikely to be ready to learn

8.51 – The start of the lesson is missed and the rest of the class is disrupted

9.00 – 10 minutes late means 7 days of schooling is lost a year.

9.05 -15 minutes late means 10 days of schooling is lost a year.

Arriving at 8.30 for an 8:50* start is a habit for success.
*School starts at 8:55 on Wednesday

Reporting Absences

If your child is going to be absent from school, please advise the Attendance Office before 9:30 a.m.

Options for notification are:

  • Click on the ‘School Portal‘ tab at the top of this website page and complete the form.
  • Click ‘Report Absence’.

It is important and a Ministry of Education requirement, that all absences are explained. Monitoring attendance is vital in terms of both ensuring the safety of students and in order to identify and address any concerning patterns of attendance. Student attendance has one of the greatest influences on student engagement and achievement and our School Board places attendance as a very high priority for our students.

A lack of timely communication may result in the absence being recorded as truancy and resulting in punitive consequences.

Arriving Late

Students who arrive late must report to the Attendance Office to sign in.

If you know your child will be late, please advise the College as you would an absence via the School Portal or email on: [email protected]

Leaving Early

If you plan to take your child out of school early for any reason, please lodge this on the school portal. Please click on 'Report Absence' and choose 'Exit Pass'. Record the details of time and what the reason is for leaving early. This will allow staff the time to organise a leave pass. Students who leave the College during the day must sign out at the Attendance Office (or Reception if the Attendance Office is closed).

In the case of early leaving requests that are not pre-arranged, please expect a delay as your child will need to be sent for. This is particularly relevant at interval or lunch.

If a student wishes to leave school due to a medical issue, they must first report to the School Nurse who will assess their condition and call the student’s contact person to arrange for the student to be collected. They will also require a Leave Pass.

Students are not to arrange to leave the College themselves.

In order to ensure the Health and Safety of all students at Rutherford College, you may only remove your child from school if you are recorded as a caregiver on our school records.

Requesting Leave During Term Time

Please notify all leave for non-related school events such as holidays in school time or family events through our School Portal. Choose the Report an Absence option and then scroll down until you find 'Other' category. Record the details of the leave. This option allows for reporting up to 90 days in advance. 

Under the law all students are expected to attend when the school is open for instruction.  The two legal exceptions are illness and the access route to the school being blocked.

Additionally, the Ministry of Education have identified that parents taking their sons and daughters out of school during the year for holidays has risen tremendously over the last few years. They have introduced a new code for the way schools are required to record absences of this type. Any family taking their son or daughter away for a holiday during term time will have the absence recorded as Explained but Unjustified Absence. Their decision is in line with research which identifies that to be successful powerful learners, students need to be in class on time for every lesson. 

The MOE requires all absences, explained or not, recorded as being Justified or Unjustified. Below are guidelines for this.
Justified Reasons
  • Explained absences for short-term illness/medical reasons (a medical certificate may be requested for prolonged illness), medical appointments, school-arranged work experience, class trips, students sitting examinations at school, exam/study leave.
  • Unplanned absences due to not being able to physically reach the school – such as a bus breakdown, traffic accident, road closure, or extreme weather conditions.
  • Absences due to national/local representation in a sporting or cultural event in NZ or overseas. (Please request this leave in advance through the School Portal/Report Absence.
  • Absences (including overseas) due to bereavement, visiting an ill relative, parent(s) sabbatical, or exceptional family circumstances can all be reported through the School Portal.
Unjustified Reasons
  • No notification received.
  • No justifiable explanation is received.
  • The explanation does not fall within the school’s protocols for justified absences.
Please Note:
  • A parent’s note does not necessarily provide justification.
  • A family holiday is treated as an explained but unjustified absence. (Please request this leave in advance through the School Portal/report absence
  • Not attending school to work is an unjustified absence.