Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Government evaluating truancy texting pilot

12 April 2005 Media Statement

Government evaluating truancy texting pilot

A pilot anti-truancy project, which automatically notifies parents by text message if their children are not at school, is being evaluated by the government to see if it will be suitable for all schools.

Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope says the early notification pilot in five schools has just been completed.

"This is cutting edge technology and uses a range of notification techniques - email, text, mobile and landline voice calls," said Mr Benson-Pope. "Anecdotally, I am told schools involved indicated that attendance rates improved significantly once they started sending electronic messages to parents.

"Absence data, recorded by teachers, is combined with contact details in the school's student management systems (SMS), which then generates an instant 'alert' to caregivers. Schools can know if a parent is aware their child is absent within minutes and set about challenging the behaviour of a student who is truant."

All the data gathered during the four-month pilot will be used to determine how or when the technology can be rolled out to all schools that would benefit from its incorporation into school SMS.

Mr Benson-Pope says he is looking forward to seeing results from the pilot to see how effective the project has been. He says that because the software is new in New Zealand it will be important to know if it will be a useful tool here.

"If the system has performed as well as similar systems overseas we think it has the potential to reduce truancy. It will improve the timeliness and quality of school-parent communications about attendance and absence, and will free up resources at schools allowing them to focus on harder cases."

Mr Benson-Pope says he expects to have an evaluation report within a month for his consideration.

Mr Benson-Pope says the early notification pilot is one of several initiatives to combat truancy being worked on by the Ministry of Education. Today he also announced $4.8million of new funding in Budget 2005 for an electronic enrolment system and reported on a successful parent prosecutions pilot in Auckland.

Fact sheet: Truancy initiatives

The government funds 42 separate programmes and spends over $650 million a year providing additional support for at-risk students to succeed in education.

Truancy and Engagement Initiatives
- The Suspension Reduction Initiative (SRI) is a targeted programme for schools with relatively high rates of suspension to reduce exclusion and suspension.
- The Student Engagement Initiative (SEI) is a recent expansion of the SRI to a package of initiatives with a focus on ensuring engagement in education. The SEI includes:
- a review of District Truancy Services (DTS) to ensure that the system is appropriately structured to help schools manage truancy, and that the funding for DTS is allocated proportionate to need
- the development and pilot of a streamlined truancy prosecution process for parents who support or condone their children’s non-attendance
- early notification of absence and truancy through text message and e-mail
- a new student management system for tracking re-enrolment of students
- further research into barriers to learning and engagement

Interagency Work
- Full Service Education is an interagency pilot for the provision of social, health and education services to at-risk students.
- The Youth Offending Strategy is an interagency initiative, which includes the development of teams to support youth offenders in learning and the provision of specialised educational needs assessments for youth offenders.
- Successful Youth Transitions provides pathways to employment and further learning for post-compulsory students (16-19 year olds) through school- and workplace-based programmes such as Gateway and STAR.

Alternative Pathways
- The government funds Alternative Education providers, Activity Centres, and Teen Parent Units to provide alternative learning settings and courses for students that are disengaged or alienated from mainstream schools.
- The Correspondence School provides distance learning opportunities for students that have disengaged or been excluded from school.

Specialised Support
- Behaviour Support Teams support positive participation by students with severe behavioural problems. Their role encompasses both crisis management and one-on-one support to decrease inappropriate behaviour.
- Social Workers in Schools, administered by CYF, provides social workers that work closely with primary schools and other health and education professionals in the community.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election