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Budget 2005: Electronic student tracking system

12 April 2005 Media Statement

Budget 2005: All schools to get electronic student tracking system

Every intermediate and secondary school in the country will access a new electronic student enrolment system by the end of term one 2006, Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope announced today.

From now on when a school enrols a student, or when a student leaves for another school, schools will fill in a single electronic form over the internet. This central register of enrolment information will reduce the time taken to identify non-enrolling students.

"Students who have been out of school for more than 20 days will be quickly and accurately identified by the system as non-enrolled and will trigger an alert for the Ministry of Education and other services to begin tracing them," said Mr Benson-Pope.

"We need to be sure all students who should be at school are there. By automating this process and taking time delays out of the system, we will be more effective at getting students back into school."

Mr Benson-Pope says development of the project has been underway for a year with a pilot in six Manurewa schools set to begin in August. He says an allocation of $4.8million in Budget 2005 means the system will be rolled out into every New Zealand intermediate and secondary school from 2006. Primary schools will be included later.

In 2003 there were approximately 6000 non-enrolments notified to the Ministry of Education and in 40 per cent of cases the students were already enrolled in another school or had legally left the compulsory school sector.

"Removing the inaccurate notifications will free up resources at schools and within the Ministry that can be directed into other truancy reduction activities," said Mr Benson-Pope.

Mr Benson-Pope says the student tracking project sits alongside several new initiatives known collectively as the Student Engagement Initiative (SEI) that will have a positive impact in reducing truancy. This afternoon he issued updates on a messaging pilot that alerts parents if their child is absent by text message, and early results from a streamlined parent prosecution pilot in South 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.

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