James Cook High School


We have put together a Q&A of the most common questions we receive from our JC whānau regarding student attendance and absenteeism. 

Studies have shown that regular attendance at school is critical to student achievement. We want to ensure that your child is receiving the best learning experience with our kura to achieve better outcomes for their future.

It is important to remember that all attendance matters are to be reported to the Attendance Officer on 09 268 3950 (option 1) or email attendance@jchs.school.nz.

arriving late / leaving early

It is good practice for parents/carers to phone ahead before dropping your child off, to inform us if your child is arriving late. Students must follow correct procedure and go straight to the MANA room to sign in on arrival.

If you need to sign your child out early for any reason, please phone the school office in the mornings to let them know.

This allows the school office plenty of time to organise the release of your child from their class and have a Leave Pass prepared for your child to take with them. 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 your child wishes to leave school due to a medical issue, they must first see 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.


For any absence, please contact the school office. You can call 09 268 3950 – press option 1, or email attendance@jchs.school.nz

Each day the school is open and your child is absence, the parents/carers listed on the students profile will be notified. It is important that your contact information is up-to-date. If unsure, please phone us to check your contact details are correct.

If your child is absent for more than 3 days, a medical certificate is required.

The medical certificate from your Doctor or the District Health Board must state the date of when your child is absent from and the duration of days your child is going to be absent from school.

There are a couple of reasons why:

  • Your child arrived late to school and did not report to the MANA room to sign in.
  • Your child missed the roll call when names were being read out
  • Your child is at school but is not in their timetabled class

Please encourage your child to be responsible for having their names correctly marked on the roll when arriving late to school by following the correct procedure.

Holiday during term time

When school is open, we expect our students to be here and learning.  Like every other secondary school in New Zealand, we follow the term dates as decided by the Ministry of Education – and under the Education and Training Act (2020).  

Students must be enrolled in school and attending during term time. 

Yes. The only absences from school permitted during term time are for illness/medical reasons and bereavement.

Taking holidays during term time is not allowed under the law.  If you take your child out of school during term time for reasons other than illness or bereavement, their Attendance Record will show their absence is unjustified. 

If your child is away for more than 20 consecutive school days, they are required by law to be removed from the school roll (and you will need to reapply for re-enrolment should they wish to return).

During the scheduled holiday breaks. The school year covers 40 out of 52 weeks, with 4 holiday breaks available (at the end of each term). 

Again, it is required by law that when school is open, we expect our students to attend. In order to maximise the chance of your child succeeding academically, we encourage you to get them to school during term time, and arrange any travel plans within those holiday breaks.   Taking them out of school during term time puts their achievement, and enrolment, in jeopardy.