PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 12 May 2023 -
Education Minister delivers one attendance officer
Nearly three months after Labour’s $74 million announcement of 82 school attendance officers, it turns out that just one is on the job, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.
“School attendance is at shocking lows and Labour’s so-called ‘Attendance Turnaround Package’ has barely even got out of the gates.
“This is a Government that simply cannot deliver anything it promises. Not even the attendance officers are showing up to school.
“When questioned by the media about this sluggish implementation, the under-pressure Education Minister threw her own Ministry under the bus, stating, ‘I have had constant discussions with my officials, and there seems to be excuses all the time’.
“Jan Tinetti should stop blaming her officials and take responsibility for her failure to get Kiwi kids into school so they can learn the basics.
“This follows a week of Ms Tinetti also throwing her own staff under the bus in Parliament for cynically delaying the release of critical Term 3 attendance data so it would coincide with her rushed announcement about attendance.
“Just 50 per cent of kids are attending school regularly, and the attendance rate in decile 1 schools is less than half that of decile 10.
“This should be keeping the Minister of Education awake at night. Kids that do not attend school regularly are five times more likely to fall behind in reading, writing and maths.
“The tragedy in all of this is that those who have been let down are Kiwi kids who deserve better than a Minister who continues to put her political needs above their right to a great education and won’t stop blaming others for her own failings.”