'Lost' students hunted - not if they're troubled
Anne Tolley MP National Party Education Spokeswoman
14 February 2008
'Lost' students hunted - but not if they're troubled
Many of the 'lost tribe' of secondary school-aged-children currently not enrolled at any school will never be found and returned to school because the Ministry of Education is only trying to track down those who are not in contact with Child Youth and Family or the police, says National's Education spokeswoman, Anne Tolley.
"This tribe of 'lost' children numbers close to 6,000 and doesn't even take into account the 31,000 who are actually enrolled, but are truant every day.
"Now we find out, through an internal Ministry of Education memo, that Labour has signed a contract with a private provider to track down students who are not enrolled, but has told this contractor that they should not bother tracking down students who are in contact with Child Youth and Family or the police.
"Surely these students are the most vulnerable and most at risk. Surely it is these very children who should be the focus of Labour's efforts to find out why they are not enrolled.
"In an equally disturbing revelation, it appears the contractor has also been told not to bother with students who have been excluded from school.
"This is the Labour Government that wants to keep students in school until they are 18. They can't even keep them in school until they are 16, and when they disappear off the radar because they get into trouble, they wash their hands of them.
"Chris Carter needs to explain why his Labour Government is abandoning the young people who are most in need of help."