Luxon: School attendance falls again

Attendance data for the second term show that only 39.9% of students attended school regularly. Picture |

Shocking new school attendance data showing that just 40 per cent of pupils were attending school regularly in the second term is appalling and shows the Labor Party is failing a generation of children, Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon has said.

Attendance data for the second term show that only 39.9% of students attended school regularly.

“What’s even more heartbreaking is that more than 100,000 Kiwi children are still chronically absent from school, meaning they miss three out of 10 days, up from 38,000 in 2017,” he said. Luxon.

“Research shows that every day of school missed has a negative impact and that children who do not attend school regularly are five times more likely to fall behind in reading, writing and math.

“Falling attendance rates under Labor have mirrored New Zealand’s plummeting achievement levels. Only 2% of secondary students in decile 1 can pass a basic writing test.

“Without urgent action now, this government risks failing an entire generation of children who are falling further and further behind with each passing week. This should be the government’s top priority in education.

“Instead of embossed strategic documents, we need decisive action to get children back to school regularly and learn the basics they need to thrive and become the authors of their own destiny.

“National would relentlessly target attendance by setting clear expectations for schools and parents that children not attending school is no longer an option. We will hold ourselves, schools and parents accountable for ensuring that children attend school regularly.

“We will shift resources from back office bureaucrats in Wellington to the front line, so that schools have the support they need to give every child the opportunity to benefit from a world-class education.

“This is not just a social failure, but a future economic crisis.”

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