Finally Govt tries to do something about truancy

Radio NZ reports:

The government has confirmed it will establish 82 new attendance officer roles, plus additional further investment, for a total $74 million.

Education Minister Jan Tinetti said it would include a commitment to improved and standardised attendance data.

“We are going back to basics on attendance,” she said. “This $74 million package puts resources on the ground to support schools and students.”

She said the Attendance Service already worked with students with low or declining rates of attendance, and the funding would allow it to support another 3000 young people.

Just 3,000?

100,000 students are attending school less than 70% of the time, or missing 12 or more weeks a year.

210,000 students are attending school less than 80% of the time, or missing eight or more weeks a year.

440,000 students are attending school less than 90% of the time, or missing four or more weeks a year.

The Government should be collecting attendance data in real time from schools. Instead it takes six months to find out what the attendance rate is. We are in February 2023 and we don’t even have data on attendance for July to September 2022.

“We know that there are many reasons why a child might not show up to school, which is why we’re also continuing our initiatives that are focused on removing barriers to education such as free period products, free healthy school lunches, school donations, preventing bullying and redesigning our curriculum.”

All of these policies have been rolled out at a time which has seen attendance plummet. I think most parents just want their kids to be in school learning, regardless of whether they get period products from their school or not!

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