ZB

Francesca Rudkin: If you want schools to work on truancy, they need funding and people

Author
Francesca Rudkin,
Publish Date
Fri, 10 Jun 2022, 1:03pm
Photo / Getty
Photo / Getty

Francesca Rudkin: If you want schools to work on truancy, they need funding and people

Author
Francesca Rudkin,
Publish Date
Fri, 10 Jun 2022, 1:03pm

The Government has announced it is going to redesign the attendance service to help schools deal with truancy and have released some new student attendance targets.

The new target is for 70 percent regular attendance in 2024 and 75 percent regular attendance in 2026.

Across New Zealand, fewer than 60 percent of students currently attend regularly.

‘Chronic absence’ means a child might be missing at least three days per fortnight. This has also been rising with almost 8 percent of students now chronically absent and the strategy aims to cut that number to 5 percent by 2024 and 3 percent by 2026.

I am very pleased to see that the Government is finally doing something about it. I don't know about you, but to me it seems one of the most important things for our kids, is to be in school.

Schools sometimes can be a one size fits all environment. It doesn't suit every kid, but essentially we do want our kids to be at school in learning, it is the best start in life, isn't it?

Only 60 percent of students currently attending regularly, I think you'd agree with me is not good enough. It's about time this took place.

I absolutely think this needs to be localised.

We need to have more truancy officers on the ground working in communities. Schools need to have more resources to have these people if they want.

If you want absenteeism to be reported and for schools to be able to work on it, they need the funding and they need the people to actually make this happen.

Of course, parents are responsible for getting their kids to school, but once again, sometimes those complex issues make it a bit tricky, don’t they?