School has begun and I don’t have my exemption yet

A new school year and a lot of people have exemption applications into the MoE and have not heard back yet. What should they do?

This is a problem at the moment especially in the Auckland office where they have a lot of exemption applications to process.

Keep your children at home. Even though any contact with the MoE will say that your children must be in school until you get your exemption – the MoE have to say that because that is the law. Schools have a number of excuses for pupils not to be in school when they should be and they have policy to cover that called “Justified Absence”.  So we have asked the MoE to make applying for an exemption to be able to come under “Justified Absence”. That should be happening probably later this year. In the meantime there are ways to keep our children out of school under “Justified Absence”:

The MoE used to be very  strict on this saying that our children must be in school until we got our exemptions BUT they are a lot more tolerant these days to the “Justified absence” ideas that are in the link above. Hopefully soon we will have no more hoops to jump through on that and it will be a matter of course. Then they will be able to write in the letters to us, when asking more questions, that “Justfiied Absence while getting an exemption” is their policy. It isn’t at the moment. So while people are waiting for their exemption to come through here are some ideas of what to do:

1. Wait.

2. Don’t send your child/ren to school

3. Ring the MoE and see what the status of your exemption application is.

4. Wait some more and keep your children out of the public during school hours (only until you get your exemption)

5. You are 99.9% sure of eventually getting your exemption so begin home educating your child as you have planned.

IMG_86036. Your child can be out of school for 20 consecutive days before the truancy officer is informed. Your child can go to school for one day then have another 20 consecutive days off school etc.

7. If the Truancy officer or a school contacts you, after the 20 days, tell them that you are waiting on your exemption and that you are heading to the Dr for a letter of explanation for why your child is out of school or

8. Enrol your child/ren at another school but don’t send them to it.

This will buy you some time until you get your exemption.


Please share this information – thanks


Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here


Needing help for your home schooling journey:


Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting started


Information on getting an exemption

This link is motivational:

Exemption Form online:

Coming Events:


Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey: