Tae ā-tinana

Attendance & Student Services 

Absences – What to Do

If your child is going to be absent from school, please ring the absence line at 348 5073 ext 821, or email RT@riccarton.school.nz, and leave your child’s name, whanau form class (if known) and the reason for the absence.

If you have advanced notice of an absence, an email to the Student Services Administrator (RT@riccarton.school.nz), may prevent us from contacting you on a daily basis (our automated student management system, Kamar, will send parents/whanau a text if a child has not been marked as present at school that morning).

If your child is absent for an extended period of three days or longer for medical reasons, a doctor’s certificate is required.

Applications for leave must be made in writing in advance to the Principal.

Absence Definitions

Justified Absence – approved by the Principal to cover the following:

  • National/local representation in a sporting or cultural event in New Zealand or overseas.
  • Bereavement leave or exceptional family circumstances, at the Principal’s discretion.

In the case of justified absence, teachers have a responsibility to assist the student with catching up on missed work or assessments. The student is responsible for liaising with their teachers and kaitiaki to organise this.

Unjustified Absence – where the Principal has been notified by the parent/guardian that the student will be absent, but the reason for the absence does not fit within the school’s policy as a justifiable reason to take the student off school, i.e. travelling overseas, family holiday, etc.

In the case of unjustified absence, the responsibility rests with the parent and student. Teachers are not required to make special arrangements for students to catch up on missed work or assessments. This will mean that if a student misses an assessment, they will not be able to get these credits.

Absence due to medical reasons -If your child is absent due to illness, please email the Whanau teacher.

Senior students who miss an internal assessment due to illness will need to provide a medical certificate to allow them to do the internal assessment at a later date.


If your child is going to be late please ring or email the Student Services Administrator. If you are unable to contact anyone, your child MUST go to the Student Services office before they go to class. 

Leaving School During the Day

Students are expected to be on-site for the whole school day. If your child needs to leave early (to attend an appointment) they MUST sign out at the student services office – and have a note from you explaining what the appointment is for and what time they will leave school.

Alternatively, you can email the Student Service Administrator with the information.

If your child becomes unwell during the day, they MUST go to student services and the staff will contact you if they need to go home. If your child texts you directly please tell them to go to student services, where staff will make sure they are OK and contact you if required. This ensures the school knows where students are, can contact parents/whanau, and will correctly sign them out if they need to leave.