The attendance codes available are set up by the staff member nominated with the Attendance Officer user responsibility in edge, with analysis and overall display governed by the responsibilities assigned. On the Admin > Setup > School Settings page, the Attendance Officer can configure which user responsibilities have access to which attendance codes for marking their rolls.
Classroom Reason (Business Rule) Explanation - the following explanations are provided as common reasons why a student may be absent from school. The Truancy Code column indicates if the absence is Justified or Unjustified. This does not preclude the Principal from using discretion over any specific student absence. Truancy
? Not in class Unknown reason (A temporary code) This is the initial entry for a student not in class and the reason is unknown. It will be edited as relevant information becomes available about the reason for the non attendance. U A
P In class Present Student is in his/her regular class (This includes supervised study). P P
L In class Student late for class School policy will determine when this code is used. E.g. school policy may recommend that a student more than 10 minutes late is coded "L". Note this code does NOT contribute to a school's absence or truancy rate. P P
S Not in class Sickbay Student is known to be in the school's sickbay. P P
D Not in class Medical Appointment - doctor or dentist Current legislation means this type of absence is counted as present for half-day summaries. There must be documentation verifying the appointment. This code is not to be used for a stay in hospital. Use code "M". J P
I Not in class Internal school appointment or activity - Dean, DP, sports administrator or coach, attendance officer etc This can include students who are out of class for various school appointments including: form teachers, dean, senior management, counsellor, sports administrator, coach, nurse, careers, as well as students on an administration activity such as messenger, collecting attendance etc. It does not include a student who has been removed from his/her regular class and sent to the administration area for disciplinary reasons. This student would be coded P in the class and the code would probably be changed to R by the senior staff member dealing with the student. P P
E Not in class Student is absent with an explained, but unjustified reason The explanation for the absence is accepted by the school as the reason for the absence, but the reason does not fit within the school's policy as a justifiable reason to take the student off school. (Even though the parents may consider the absence was justified and may have provided a written explanation). E.g. "Molly had to stay home to look after her younger brother" For New Zealand and overseas holidays use code "G" – see below. U A
G Not in class Student taking a holiday during term time When a student is on a New Zealand, or, Overseas holiday during the school term, the absence is Unjustified. A parent's note does not provide justification U A
M Not in class Student absent due to short-term illness/medical reasons Student is at home, or in hospital, because of illness or other medical reason. Depending on school policy a medical certificate may be requested for prolonged illness. eg three days, or as policy requires. J A
J Not in class Justified absence - reason for absence within the school policy

·Unplanned absences such as a bus breakdown, accident, road closure, extreme weather conditions etc

·Planned non attendance such as national/local representation in a sporting or cultural event in New Zealand or overseas. (See also Code O)

·Approved absence (including overseas) can also include bereavement, visiting an ill relative, exceptional family circumstances or a Section 27

• A student accompanying, or visiting, a family member who is on an overseas posting. (Up to 15 weeks) Eg, military or diplomatic.

T Not in class No information provided - truant (or throw-away explanation) An absence where no verifiable explanation is received, or the explanation is trivial (throw-away):
·I didn't feel like Maths so I took the period off
·I had to finish an important assignment
·I went down to the river
·I went to the shops
·we had a test and I wasn't ready for it
V In class Examination or Unsupervised Study - student is on the school-site Students sitting examinations at school (if the SMS can provide attendance marking during exams.) Unsupervised study - school process verifies student is on the school-site. Note that supervised study is recorded as a regular timetabled class. P P
X Not in class Exam leave
Unsupervised study - student is off-site
Code X will count as a justified absence and contributes to half day absence summaries. Note that supervised study is recorded as a regular timetabled class. J A
N Not in class On a school based activity A school-based (on-site) activity.
·cultural/sporting presentation/practice including swimming/athletic sports
·one to one tuition either as tutor or tutored
Q Not in class Attending an off-site school-organised activity such as trip/camp A school-organised off-site activity including overseas
·school trip (sporting, cultural or academic)
·school camp
W Not in class Work experience Student is working for a recognised employer as part of their course (Gateway is an example) P P
R Not in class Removed (temporarily) from regular class (internal school student isolation) This code is for students who for a time period had an arrangement for alternative supervision, that may be in the administration corridor or in another teacher's class, instead of the regular scheduled class. P P
Z Not in class Secondary Tertiary Programme (including Trades Academies) The student is participating in a part-time (off-site) approved Secondary Tertiary programme that includes Trades Academies. The school is not entitled to be funded. P P
O Not in class Unjustified Overseas A student is absent due to family reunification as a result of the opening of the “travel bubble”. O A
K Not in class Attending a Teen Parent Unit The student is not in class, is on the school roll but funded elsewhere. J P
A Not in class Attending Alternative Education The student is not in class, is on the school roll but funded elsewhere. P P
Y Not in class Attending an Activity centre The student is not in class but in an approved environment for which the school is entitled to be funded. J P
F Not in class Attending an off site course/class The student is not in class but is on a legitimate off-site school-based course. P P
H Not in class Attending a Health camp/Regional Health School/Residential School The student is not in class but in an approved environment for which the school is entitled to be funded. J P
C Not in class Student is involved in Justice Court proceedings Under existing legislation this type of absence is deemed to be Present when calculating half-day summaries. J P
U Not in class Student is Stood down or Suspended Student is Stood Down or suspended according to the conditions of Section 14 of the Education Act 1989. (This code is for the period of the stand down/suspension. It does NOT include the day the stand down was imposed). J A
  KEY Present for half day calculations  
    Unjustified absence  
    Justified absence  
Classroom Rules for Audit Codes
S Not in class On a legitimate school-based activity
J Not in class Absence justified (ref 1998/48 circular)
F Not in class In an approved environment in which the school is entitled to be funded with the required supporting documentation
U Not in class Absence unjustified
P In class Present for tuition
N Not in class On school roll but funded somewhere else

Code not used: B

Rules for Truancy Codes

J = Justified Absence
U = Unjustified Absence
P = Present
O = Overseas (justified)


Click on MoE Attendance Code List.

School closures

A Board of Trustees can close the school (for instruction) for reasons including:

  • an emergency (earthquake, flood etc); or
  • to protect the health and safety of its students and/or staff
  • strike closure

The School calendar should be adjusted in edge to show such days (or half days) as a non-school day and this means the students' attendance cannot be marked.

Where a half day adjustment cannot be made in the calendar (ie. rolls created once the first attendance entry has been input for the school on the day), then students should be marked J (justified absent).

In the case of a strike closure, although the school is closed for instruction, the Secretary expects boards to consider providing supervision for those students who do turn up. These students will not have their attendance marked because they are not attending school for the purposes of instruction, and Edge will not allow it if it has been adjusted correctly. Note that Boards have ongoing responsibility for the safety of students while under supervision at the school, whether or not the school is also open for instruction.

Keeping the school open

Depending on the circumstances the Board, while not closing the school, may ask parents to keep children (of specific, or all year levels) at home where possible, but if they send them to school they will be supervised. If the school remains open then students not attending are J (justified absent) and those attending are P (present).


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