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Low School Attendance Rates Disappointing

Data released today for Term 3 2023 show that despite the previous government’s hollow promises of bold actions, New Zealand school attendance rates remain abysmal.

Education Minister Erica Stanford says it is incredibly disappointing to see only 45.9 per cent of children are attending school regularly.

“Despite spending tens of millions of dollars, the previous Government has delivered the second worst attendance figures since 2011.

“A report by the Education Review Office showed 41 per cent of parents are comfortable with their child missing a week or more of school a term. This equates to missing a year of schooling by the time they are 16.

"We need a change of direction to restore the habit of attending school regularly.

"Associate Education Minister David Seymour and I have set a clear expectation with officials that it is time for a change in approach. We know it will take time to increase attendance rates but this government expects kids to be in school. We know a good education ensures our young people have the skills and knowledge to set them up for success.

“We will continue to ensure the right supports are in place to help families get their children to school but parents’ attitudes count. This government will be sending a message that there is a moral and legal obligation for their children to be in school.

"Attendance and achievement go hand in hand. We have a clear plan to lift achievement so that young people experience success in the classroom and feel confident in their abilities.”

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“As a nation, we can’t accept a level of mediocrity where less than half of students are regularly attending school. To succeed in education, you have to show up,” says Minister Seymour.

“Almost every aspect of someone's adult life will be defined by the education they receive as a child. For better social outcomes, kids need to be in the classroom and learning the basics.

“ACT’s coalition agreement with National commits to addressing truancy by prioritising reporting and enforcement action to reduce truancy, including centrally collecting and publishing attendance data.”

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