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New Attendance Service Will Keep More Learners In School

Media release

17 December

New Attendance Service Will Keep More Learners In School

The Ministry of Education says a new expanded attendance service will help keep more students in school, learning and achieving.

The new service begins in the New Year and will receive $9.1m annually.

It brings together district and non-enrolled truancy services into one – enabling providers to target resources where they are most needed.

The Ministry has encouraged those employed in the former district and non-enrolled services who wanted to work for a new provider to register with the Ministry so that their names could be passed onto the new providers.

Deputy Secretary, Regional Operations, Katrina Casey confirmed that, so far, around half had done so.

Ms Casey says “The new service will take the best of the previous system and develop new ways so that it is more responsive to the needs of learners and their families - particularly among Māori and Pasifika communities.

“A strong part of our requirements of the providers is that they have good connections with other agencies and services and can work across agencies to provide the right type of support needed to not only get learners to school but ensure they stay there and are fully engaged in learning.

“It will enable agencies to build a better understanding of non-attendance - making it easier to identify trends and causes and achieve a more consistent and effective practice, developing early intervention strategies to prevent non-attendance.”

Ms Casey says reducing the number of services from 78 to 18 will also simplify the system. The service providers have been selected following a robust tendering and contracting process over the last few months.

“Schools will be able to build more effective relationships with providers and other key agencies like social services to intervene quickly to prevent problems arising.”

Notes for editors

In 2011, 29,000 learners were absent from school for part of, or a full day, without justification during a survey period.

Attendance advisors are not Ministry employees.

The Ministry contracts service providers to deliver the attendance service. The provider is responsible for employing attendance advisors.

To date, 65 employees of the former services have asked to be considered for roles with new providers.

It is expected service providers will adopt regular recruitment processes to determine who they will employ to deliver the service.

More information about the new attendance service is available at www.minedu.govt.nz/attendance or email attendance@minedu.govt.nz

ENDS


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