10,000 more children absent from school

PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 27 May 2022 -


10,000 more children absent from school


A staggering 10,000 more children across New Zealand were chronically absent from school in Term Four of 2021, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.

“According to data from the Ministry of Education, a total of 67,000 students were chronically absent from school in Term Four 2021, compared to 57,621 in Term Three 2021.

“That is 10,000 more children in just one term attending school less than 70 per cent of the time.

“Compared to 2017, the number of chronically absent students was 37,900. That’s a 76 per cent increase since Labour came into government – an incredibly worrying statistic. Once children are disengaged from school it is a lot harder to get them back.

“Worse still, almost half of these numbers are Māori students with an appalling 30,769 chronically absent in Term Four 2021 – or 1 in 5 Māori students.

“Attendance is the most important indicator of student achievement, yet truancy continues to worsen despite the Labour Government spending an extra $5 billion each year on Education.

“Labour have dropped the ball and are now failing our most vulnerable children. Their only solution is to throw more money at a problem, without any accountability, plans or targets.

“National has warned the Government that it needs to respond immediately to the truancy epidemic and do everything it can to get our children back into to school. Education is the strongest tool we have to ensure everyone gets an equal chance in life to be successful.

“This is not just a social failure but a future economic crisis and Labour’s lack of delivery is failing a generation of children.”