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ACT launches truancy policy for schools

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The ACT Party has launched a truancy policy aimed at resolving what it calls a “crisis”.

In a statement, ACT education spokesperson Chris Baillie said “In term 2 of this year, 60 percent of students did not attend regularly”.

A recent Ministry of Education attendance report showed the number going to school regularly was 39.9 percent.

Baillie said the rate was “shocking” and that “New Zealand is not a sustainable society”.

“It is not passing enough knowledge from one generation to the next to maintain first world status.”

The party proposed five ideas to get back into classrooms:

  • Daily national attendance reporting – ACT would require every school to fill out an electronic attendance register accessible by the Ministry of Education
  • Empowering schools to deal with truancy – Schools should be empowered to deal with poor attendance through direct, cashed-up funding, ACT said
  • Traffic light system – This would set out clear expectations for the responsibilities of everyone relating to unjustified absences
  • An infringement notice regime for parents – ACT would introduce an infringement notice regime for truancy
  • Accountability for schools through mandatory reporting – Schools would be required to report their attendance daily and failing to do so would risk losing funding

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