School attendance increases

School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four.

“It is encouraging to see more children getting to school and a small drop in chronic absences as we head toward our 80 per cent target,” says Associate Education Minister David Seymour.

“We have a truancy crisis across the country and attendance data is a way to show people this.

"We know that for some, there are very real challenges to regular attendance, sometimes beyond their control. The Government is looking into what causes truancy with an attendance action plan to help families get students back to school.

“For schools it means following up on all student absences, particularly those that are unexplained or unjustified.

“The data published today is available much more quickly than it was under the prior Government. In addition to our weekly publication of daily data, this transparency reflects our approach of tell the people, trust the people.

"It also highlights positive changes such as Cyclone Gabrielle-impacted Hawke's Bay-Tairāwhiti leading the way with the largest increase, up 9.7 per cent to 59.0 per cent. Regular attendance rates for ākonga Māori and Pacific students have increased by 2.5 and 3.0 percentage points respectively.”

Regular attendance pre-Covid in 2019 was 72.8 per cent, and the Government has a target of ensuring 80 per cent of students are present for more than 90 per cent of the time by 2030.

“School attendance is a problem ultimately owned by all New Zealanders, and I look forward to a continuation of the upward trend.”

The new results are available on the Education Counts website: https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/statistics/attendance