Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Back to school for attendance campaign

Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti will today join students, teachers, parents and principals to help launch a nationwide school attendance campaign – Every School Day is a Big Day.

“This Government has laser sharp vision on the issue of improving attendance at school and that is why we are taking action,” Minister Tinetti said.

She said school attendance was a long term challenge for New Zealand, with numbers gradually declining across-the-board since 2015. The trend was further accelerated by COVID-19.

Only two in five kids – or just 40 – attend school regularly. Of even more concern is that only 5% of kiwis considered attendance a “top-of-mind issue”, the Minister said.

“I launched the Attendance and Engagement Strategy in June which set some pretty tough targets. I want to see the number of kids attending school regularly increased from 59.7 per cent in 2021 to 70 per cent in 2024 and 75 per cent in 2026,” said Ms Tinetti.

“The campaign supports practical measures to encourage attendance already underway by schools around the country.

“There are no quick fixes to attendance especially where there is chronic non-attendance. There can be many barriers but we are working with schools to help turn our school attendance rates around.

“Going to school regularly is our how our kids learn. It means they are better able to pass exams and get qualifications – that’s obviously important. But being at school also helps children and young people develop in other important ways. It strengthens their social, cultural and mental wellbeing. Attending school means that these young people will grow up having more choices.

“Together, parents, teachers, students and communities can make a difference. Together we can lower the number of students who are moderately absent and those who are chronically absent from 8.5 per cent in 2021 to 6% in 2024 and from 7.7% in 2021 to five per cent in 2024, respectively,” said Minister Tinetti.

Footage for the TV, radio and newspaper campaign was filmed on 5 August, simultaneously in nine schools across New Zealand capturing a typical school day experienced by tamariki across the country. 

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