PRESS RELEASE | Erica Stanford MP | 30 June 2023 -
School attendance nowhere near where it should be
It’s a sad day for New Zealand when 40 per cent of students are still not attending school regularly, National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford says.
“While I’m pleased to see a slight improvement in attendance figures, it’s sobering to think that 60 per cent attendance is an increase.
“It speaks to how dire the school attendance crisis has been under Labour and the harm it is causing to children around the country.
“According to the Education Review Office, countries we often compare ourselves with have regular attendance rates well above 80 per cent.
“Teachers and principals deserve credit for their hard work in achieving this increase in attendance, despite receiving little support from an Education Minister who is clearly not up to the task.
“National would hold itself, schools and parents accountable for ensuring that kids are regularly in school.
“We’ll use the full suite of tools available to get kids back in the classroom, and power up community-based truancy services that understand their communities and can connect families to the support they need.
“Labour has failed to ensure that parents, schools and government fulfil their obligations to ensure children’s basic right to education is realised. This is an economic and social disaster in the making.
“Kids who don’t attend school regularly are five times more likely to fall behind in reading, writing and maths. National’s Teaching the Basics Brilliantly plan will ensure that these fundamentals are a priority.
“Labour has failed a generation of children with its misguided approach to education that has seen achievement in the basics plummet, in addition to abysmally low attendance.
“Not only are 63,000 children still chronically absent from school, but half of Year 10 students cannot pass a foundational reading, writing and maths test set at a level the OECD says is necessary to succeed in further learning, life and work.”