Knighton Normal School

(07) 856 5399 Knighton Road, Hamilton 3216 Contact Us

Making sure your child attends school every day

Going to school every day is really important if children are to achieve and succeed. As parents and carers, it's up to you to make sure your child attends school every day, from when they first start school until they are 16.

Does my child have to go to school every day?  Yes, your child must go to school every day. 

Why do they need to go every day? Going to school every day is the key to getting the best out of school because:

  • learning to read, write and do maths takes a lot of practice and is easier to master if your child goes to school regularly

  • it sets up good habits for going to school right from day one

  • each day is a chance to learn something new

  • school offers your child regular, dedicated help to master the many skills they need

  • it teaches your child life skills like commitment, being reliable, having a good work ethic and sticking with things when they get hard.

What about my 5 year old? Even though you don’t legally have to enrol your child at school until they turn 6 most children in New Zealand start school when they are 5.  Once your child has started school, whether at age 5 or 6 they must attend every day. 

What if my child needs to be away from school? Occasionally your child might need to be away from school because they are too sick to attend, have an appointment or need to be at a tangi or funeral.

If your child is going to be away from school you must let the school office staff know before 9:00am.. You will need to let the school office staff know why and for how long your child will be away. See the end of this newsletter for ways you can let us know if your child won’t be at school.

Your child’s safety and wellbeing is a priority for the school.  If your child doesn’t turn up to school and we haven’t heard from you we will be concerned for their safety. We will get in touch with you to make sure your child is okay.

Can I take my child out of school during term time to go on holiday? No, a holiday is not a good enough reason to take your child out of school. Holidays should be planned outside of term time.

Events like a birthday or a special day’s shopping aren’t considered valid reasons for being away from school either.

In all instances of extended absences, you will need to advise the school at

What if my child is often off school sick? If your child misses a lot of school because of a chronic illness you may be able to get help from the Waikato Unit of the Northern Health School. 

What might happen if my child continues to have unacceptable absences? 

In line with the Government's focus on attendance, we will inform the NZ Police Bluelight Truancy Services of your child's absence if it is greater than 30% of the year to date or if your child has been away for three days in a row and we haven’t been told why.

It is important to understand that the Ministry of Education may become involved when children of compulsory school age have recurring numbers of unexplained or unjustified absences from school.

Days missed = years lost     A day here and there doesn’t seem like much, but… 

When your child misses just …

… they miss  … 

… and

1 day per fortnight       =

4 weeks per year       =

1 years over their school life

1 day per week       =

8 weeks per year       =

2.5 years over their
       school life

Absence messages:

  • Send a message via our school App.  This is our preferred method for receiving messages about a child's absence. This App is free to download. Simply download 'SchoolappsNZ' from the Google Play or App Store and search Knighton Normal School once installed.

  • Text 027 352 2089 or…

  • Phone 856 5393 to leave a message

ALL children arriving late need to go to the ‘Smiley Window’ to get a late slip, before going to class.

Minutes missed = days lost 

A few minutes here and there doesn’t seem like much, but… 

When your child starts school late

or leaves early just …

… they miss 

10   minutes     =

 3  days learning  per year       

20  minutes       =

11 days learning  per year