Government’s $74 million package to tackle truancy crisis in schools

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Feb 20, 2023 |

The Government is taking action on poor school attendance rates through a $74 million package, but the opposition says Labour’s approach to truancy has been “simply awful.”

The Government is bringing back what were previously known as truancy officers, which were phased out in the early 2010s.

More than 80 attendance officer positions are being created to work with around 3000 students who are continually bunking class.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirms that it’s a different approach than previous efforts, which had a range of contracted providers who could employ whoever they wanted.

Labour has previously blamed the Covid-19 lockdown as the reason for kids not attending school.

ACT leader David Seymour says New Zealand’s education system has been declining for years.

“Labour’s uninspiring goal of 70 per cent attendance is more about slowing the decline than turning attendance around.

“The Government’s approach to truancy has been simply awful: attendance data is five months late, the Ministry barely keeps track of what truancy organisations are doing, and parents aren’t held accountable.

“It’s no wonder Chris Hipkins oversaw the worst truancy rates in New Zealand history. Throwing money at the truancy crisis is a failed idea from a failed Education Minister.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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