Thursday, May 23, 2024

School attendance data dashboard goes live

A new online data dashboard released today as part of the Government’s school attendance action plan makes more timely daily attendance data available to the public and parents, says Associate Education Minister, David Seymour.

The interactive dashboard will be updated once a week to show a national average of how many students are at school on any given day. Visitors can filter the total number of students by region or day to understand shifts in attendance over time.

“Solving our attendance crisis starts with accepting that there is a nationwide problem,” says Mr Seymour.

“More than 330,000 students were not regularly attending school in term 4, 2023, and in recent years the level of absence each term – be it chronic or at any other level – has been higher than before the pandemic.

“To address the issue we need data, there is a serious need for more accurate, complete, and timely information.

“High-quality attendance data will help students, parents, and school communities identify absence, talk about the importance of school attendance, and measure positive change over time.

“The Government has set a target of ensuring 80% of students are present for more than 90 per cent of the term by 2030. To achieve this, I’m saying to schools that they need to aspire to reach an average daily attendance rate above 94%.

“Ultimately, it’s up to parents to decide what’s appropriate for their child, but I ask parents to consider whether days off for certain reasons are in the best interest of your child. For example, if we look at the data from last term, attendance often reduces on a Friday,” said the Minister.

Cabinet has also agreed to make it mandatory for schools to provide attendance data to the Ministry of Education daily from Term 1 2025, which will be published daily on the website.

“This is just one way we’re getting a better understanding of the drivers of non-attendance through data. The more we define the problems the more effectively interventions can be targeted.”

“We all need to get behind schools so they can keep a strong focus on teaching and help as many students as possible to become regular attenders.

“If the truancy crisis isn’t addressed there will be an 80-year long shadow of people who missed out on education when they were young, are less able to work, less able to participate in society, more likely to be on benefits. That’s how serious this is,” said Mr Seymour.

The dashboard can be accessed here: https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/statistics/daily-attendance.

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