In what could be a national first, and definitely a first for Fairfield College, Jarrod Niell-Woodd has completed five years of secondary school without a single day's absence.

Principal Richard Crawford marvels at the achievement and determination that Jarrod, 18, has displayed to achieve the milestone.

Mr Crawford said research shows that attendance was an important factor in student achievement. Students who attended school regularly had been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who did not have regular attendance.

However, Jarrod said it wasn't hard to do and the achievement "sort of just happened". He never really got sick during his time there.

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"I never really got really sick. It was never really more than a runny nose or a cough,"Jarrod said.

His only time away from the school grounds came during school field trips, for which a student would still be marked present.

Jarrod's drive to not miss a day at school came from wanting to achieve his qualifications and listening to his mum.

In his first year at the school she told him to go to school and Jarrod listened. He did not miss a day of school in Year 9 although he was tempted.

In his second year, Year 10, Jarrod made a bet with a teacher.

"The bet was good banter," Jarrod said. It started to become a bit of a running joke with his mates.

In the third year, Year 11 — the start of NCEA external and internal assessments — Jarrod continued to not miss a day of school.

He missed out on NCEA Level one excellence by just one credit but still achieved merit. He also achieved NCEA level two with merit.

By the fourth year, Year 12, Jarrod thought he had a shot at this bet and by Year 13 the final year at school Jarrod decided he could actually do this.

"It didn't feel like I was doing anything special till right at the end," Jarrod said, "I was just turning up for school."

"My mates would tell me, it's totally worth it to skip a day off school for this or that."

"The joke in Year 13 was to not show up for prize-giving."

But Jarrod did show up.

Jarrod said it actually helped not missing a day of school.

Often if you are away the teacher could introduce a new topic and if you're not there you will miss it and have to catch up.

"I never had to catch up as I always there."

Jarrod has now turned his focus to his future.

He was going to go to the air force but he has just received a scholarship from The Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School that will cover the theory part of his commercial pilot's licence. He will add the $6000 to the savings he has been making towards his tertiary education.

In the past three years Jarrod has attended a two-week camp in January run by Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School near Matamata.

After the first camp Jarrod won a flight experience. He was shown round CTC Aviation, now called L3 Airline Academy, who train commercial pilots and flew one of their Cessnas.

Jarrod returned to the camp for two further years to help lead others. After the second year, he completed the theory part of his private pilot's licence and after the third year, he was awarded the $6000 scholarship.

Jarrod is well on the way to completing his commercial pilot's licence and he still has the option to join the air force.

The sky truly is the limit.