14.8 C
Sunday, May 19, 2024

Popular Now

‘Truancy crisis’ – ACT wants to spot fine parents

Truancy crisis news.

ACT Leader David Seymour and Education spokesperson Chris Baillie have today proposed a range of solutions to deal with New Zealand’s truancy crisis, including consequences for parents and schools.

“A good education is the most important thing kids need if they’re to grow up to have a fulfilling life and be contributing members of society,” said Seymour.

“When I entered Parliament, I made education my focus. I was responsible for Charter Schools which had high attendance rates and inspired children who the education system wasn’t working for. We need more out of the box thinking to keep students engaged.

“Almost every aspect of someone’s adult life will be defined by the education they receive as a child. If we want better social outcomes, we can’t keep ignoring the truancy crisis.”

“As a former teacher, I know first-hand how important it is that kids are showing up regularly,” says Mr Baillie.

“Our education system has been declining for years now, Labour’s uninspiring goal of 70 per cent attendance appears to just be wanting to slow the decline rather than turn it around and they’re failing miserably at even that.”

“With shocking recent attendance figures, New Zealand is not a sustainable society. It is not passing enough knowledge from one generation to the next to maintain first world status.

“In Term 2 of this year, 60 per cent of students did not attend regularly. It gets worse by decile, with only 23 per cent of Decile 1 attending regularly. In Northland, only 28 per cent of all students attend regularly.

“The reality is probably worse than these figures present because 108 schools did not even submit their attendance data despite it taking five months for the Ministry to publish the data.”

ACT is today proposing five ideas to get kids back in the classroom.

  • Daily national attendance reporting: The Government treated COVID like a crisis and maintained a national focus on the pandemic with daily case, hospitalisation, and death numbers for over two years. Truancy is also a crisis with major long term consequences, but it took five months for the Government to report Term 2 attendance this year, and even then 108 schools refused to report. ACT will require every school in New Zealand to fill out an electronic attendance register accessible by the Ministry of Education. Schools will be required to record which students have not attended school on a particular day and whether that absence was justified or unjustified. The Ministry will publish daily attendance in real time, building a national focus on the issue.
  • Empowering schools to deal with truancy: Schools should be empowered to deal with poor attendance through direct, cashed-up funding. The Government spends $38.5 million on truancy services and ACT says it should be given to schools to use for hiring their own truancy officers. The funding would be weighted to the Equity Index, so schools with more vulnerable student populations would receive more funding. For example, a poor school with 600 students could have an allowance of about $113 per student for $67,800 hiring an attendance officer. A group of smaller schools could band together to hire their own officer.
  • Traffic light system: Collection of data will be connected to a traffic light system. This will set out clear expectations for the responsibilities of everyone relating to unjustified absences.
    – Green light, high attendance (up to 10% absence). Require schools to attempt to make contact with a family on the day of an unjustified absence.
    – Orange light, irregular attendance (10-30% absence) The school will be required to hold a meeting with the student and family and develop a plan to reintegrate the student back into the classroom on a regular basis.
    – Red light, chronic absenteeism. (more than 30% truant). Children will be referred to the Ministry of Education to deal with, who will make a decision on possible actions including fines and referral to Police.
  • An infringement notice regime for parents: Currently parents cannot be fined for student non-attendance without a court conviction, but they can be fined on the spot for speeding to school. ACT would change the Education and Training Act to allow the Ministry of Education to introduce an infringement notice regime for truancy. Ensure Police use section 49 of the Education and Training Act to work with schools on truants and to take children they see out of school during school hours to either the school or home.
  • Accountability for schools through mandatory reporting: Schools would be required to report their attendance daily to a Ministry of Education database. Most businesses need to prove they have delivered before they are paid, but schools do not have to report whether their students actually attended school. Under ACT, schools that fail to report would risk losing their funding.

“We need real change to our education system so we have better outcomes for New Zealand children and ultimately the entire country.”

Promoted Content

No login required to comment. Name, email and web site fields are optional. Please keep comments respectful, civil and constructive. Moderation times can vary from a few minutes to a few hours. Comments may also be scanned periodically by Artificial Intelligence to eliminate trolls and spam.


  1. It’s been clear for a while now that Mr. Seymour needs his software reformatted. This is another lame attempt to gain attention for a party passed its used by date, promoting yet another non-starter. He is more out of touch with the people than Jabby and that’s saying something. Time to call it a day David and quietly go home…

  2. Maybe instead of more police state bullsh!t, you could write some bills or do a little work to make school attendance actually worthwhile again?

    Maybe bring back national standards, proper mathematics, physical science, English literature etc?

    Maybe go harder on the good old academic merit and practical life skills, and a little less on the woke climate change, sexual/gender clown show, and overt imbecilic modern communism. Maybe get school back to being about getting an education and not about getting indoctrinated into idiocy.

    Seriously, how is the government surprised that some of us are less than enthused about our kids spending eight hours a day being taught all the new and exciting ways to hate us?

    Not our fault that two years of government lockdowns gave us all the chance to see just how badly our children have been let down, and just how dumbed down they really are.

    Thanks for all the puffery David, but I won’t be bullied by someone who looks like Bric Tamland from Anchorman.

    P!ss off you utter clown.

  3. How do you know they are truant? Maybe their parents have woken up to your bs and they are home schooling. You are using the same old terminology again I see, “mandatory , traffic light, telling tales, threats, punishment “have you learnt nothing in 2 years? if this is the best you can come up with I would say that the education you received was pretty bloody poor to say the least. Maybe don’t put yourself front and centre on this issue, if the students hear you they will have zero incentive to even get out of bed!!!! The parents aren’t listening, the students aren’t listening, the teachers aren’t listening so what does that tell you? Nothing you spew out from that den of inequity ( parliament) is of interest to anyone in this nation. We expect a high level of governance as well!!! But that’s to bad for us isn’t it, we don’t get it!!! Maybe we should threaten to withdraw our tax money until we get better results. Quite frankly I’m sick and tired of the threatening words used by you and the government to bully people into submission. Maybe the students aren’t truant… maybe they are protesting.. I hope so. Back to the drawing board ACT no votes for you in the education sector.

  4. Children just arent interested in the mind-numbing garbage that is being force fed to them while they are sitting at desks in straight lines for hours a day.
    We cant have any kids escaping indoctrination into slavery. They might start thinking for themselves!

  5. Could it be Seymour that the 2 tiered society that the government has worked hard to create is working to well ? Could it be that the unvaccinated students don’t feel safe at school? Could it be that your Covid fear mongering, climate doom and gloom, forecasts of more boogie monsters to come been the catalyst for students to give up. So now you want to hold students, parents, and teachers responsible for your f…up. We asked for your help once.. remember? I hope the students, parents and teachers give you all the middle finger. You all created this mess… now lie in it. Students I encourage you to take a gap year!!!!! For your mental health and well-being after the government screwed you over with unnecessary lockdowns and mind games, make that 2 years because of the recent threats thrown at you by Seymour. May god bless all of you while you get on your feet again, may you be surrounded with encouragement not hopelessness, and threats, may these xmas holidays be an opportunity to take a breath, for the pressure to be off you, to connect with family and friends and have fun. Feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your backs and decide for yourselves what your future looks like, and make it happen.

  6. I remember skipping school for the afternoon and going to art galleries. So, self directed learning. I also met loads of people like myself who had been morally bullied and verbally abused by teachers on a power trip. You know academia has gone to sh*t when there is a degree in Taylor Sw*ft -everyone just toes the line and never questions anything, like robots.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here




Daily Life


overcast clouds
13.1 ° C
13.9 °
12.2 °
78 %
100 %
14 °
14 °
14 °
12 °
12 °
-- Free Ads --spot_img