Campaign launched to support school attendance: Every School Day is a Big Day


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,” Jan Tinetti said.

School attendance is a long term challenge, gradually declining across-the-board since 2015. That trend has been further accelerated by COVID-19. Only three in five kids attend regularly – or just 60 per cent. And even more of a concern was that only five per cent of kiwis considered attendance a top-of-mind issue. 

“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 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 per cent in 2024 and from 7.7 per cent in 2021 to five per cent in 2024, respectively.

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