Government must urgently prioritise truancy crisis

New Zealand’s truancy crisis is only going to get worse if schools aren’t required to submit their attendance data, National’s Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

Data released to National shows a third of our kids aren’t regularly attending school, with the situation even worse for decile 1 students where not even half are making it to class frequently.

“New Zealand’s appalling attendance rate threatens the learning progress of our kids,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“But this isn’t even the full picture because 70 schools didn’t submit any attendance data last year. We won’t know the full scale of the problem and who needs additional support if schools don’t provide the information.

“Attendance at school and student achievement are directly linked. We will never turnaround our slide down the international rankings in maths, english and science if we don’t make headway on our growing truancy crisis.

“Kids cannot learn if they’re not in the classroom.

“Our truancy crisis has impacted all deciles and age groups since 2015. However it is concerning primary and low decile schools are overrepresented in the 70 schools.

“Requiring all schools to submit their attendance data is a simple first step in the hard work required to tackle our truancy crisis.

“The Government has lost sight of the basics in education. Making sure kids attend school regularly should be its number one priority.”

You can find the answers to Written Parliamentary Questions here: WPQ 24338 (2021) and WPQ 26240 (2021)