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Truancy service flaws coming home to roost

Education Spokesperson
30 April 2014


Truancy service flaws coming home to roost

The ongoing failure of the Government’s new school truancy service is hugely concerning, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“We want kids off the streets, back in school and learning. The fact that only 13 per cent of cases have been resolved within two weeks after being referred to the new Wellington service is alarming to say the least.

“That’s a pattern that we are seeing all around the country.

“The Ministry of Education – whose own target is 90 per cent - is trying to explain away the failure by suggesting that kids who are frequently absent often face complex social problems outside the school gate.

“This must come as a real slap in the face to Hekia Parata, who regularly argues that a child’s home environment has no impact on their schooling.

“Schools throughout the country are reporting major concerns with the way this new service is operating.

“Principals report that it is sometimes taking days to even get the truancy service providers to acknowledge a case, much less do something about it.

“The process for selecting providers also seems to have been highly flawed, with functioning and effective services disbanded in favour of untried and untested providers.

“An incoming Labour Government will make fixing the failing truancy service an urgent priority. Let’s get these kids off the streets and back into school.”

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