More support to improve school attendance

Issue: Volume 102, Number 3

Posted: 8 March 2023
Reference #: 1HAZpm

The Government has launched a plan to get young people back into the classroom with more attendance officers in schools and more support for the Attendance Service.

All in for learning I Kia kotahi te ū ki te ako emphasises how children need every opportunity to learn, participate, and flourish by regularly attending school or kura.

All in for learning I Kia kotahi te ū ki te ako emphasises how children need every opportunity to learn, participate, and flourish by regularly attending school or kura.

In February, the Government launched the School Attendance Turnaround Package, which complements the initiatives already underway to assist kura and schools in supporting ākonga to re-engage with their learning.  

These additional resources also aim to help achieve the targets set out through the Attendance and Engagement Strategy, launched in 2022.  

The package includes funding for:  

  • eighty-two new attendance officers who will work with schools in supporting students who are irregularly or moderately absent  
  • increasing the capacity and addressing cost pressures of the Attendance Service  
  • developing an improved and standardised system for attendance data collection and analysis.  

Minister of Education Jan Tinetti reiterates how important it is for young people to be at school and learning.  

The new attendance officers will work with students who have low or declining attendance rates, to ensure they are going to school every day unless they are sick. They will work alongside parents and schools to turn around attendance rates.  

The Attendance Service already works with students who are chronically absent, or not enrolled at all, and this will help it to support 3,000 more young people.  

“The decline in school attendance began in 2015, but the pandemic has exacerbated the issue. We need to be doing more to help schools and kura support students who are not attending or engaged in education,” says Minister Tinetti.  

This package builds on investments such as the Regional Response Fund and other funding for programmes that help young people engage in learning, as well as the ongoing work through the Attendance Strategy and attendance campaigns launched last year.  

“We have seen results already through the Regional Response Fund, which has showed that early intervention with students whose school attendance is falling can make a huge difference.  

“We know that there are many reasons why a child might not show up to school. These measures will, over time, ensure that young people right across the country are attending, want to be at school and are on the right path to success in their education,” says Minister Tinetti.

All in for learning | Kia kotahi te ū ki te ako – Attendance and Engagement Strategy

The Government has developed a strategy for tackling the decade-long decline in regular attendance and engagement in schools. The strategy sets expectations of ākonga and whānau, schools, communities and government agencies in addressing this complex problem. It builds on work that government has already been undertaking alongside schools and communities to address attendance and engagement issues.

Education Gazette Series: Attendance and engagement

This series highlights the mahi underway in schools and kura across Aotearoa New Zealand that is having a positive effect on attendance and engagement in a local context.

Community partnership approach to ākonga re-engagement(external link)

Under the Napier-based Te Tupu pilot programme, a range of services and agencies collaborated to provide a tailored support system across 22 schools for Year 3–8 children at risk of disengagement from learning or of exclusion.

The role of a re-engagement officer(external link)

Mariah Scott works as a re-engagement officer across the Tawa Kāhui Ako in Wellington. The role is designed to help students who are not engaging with school and involves meeting with them and their families to find out what’s going on in their environment, both inside the classroom and at home.

Northland schools join forces to help students get to school(external link)

A strong desire to get their tamariki back to school brought primary and secondary school principals together in Te Tai Tokerau Northland. Last year, they launched a campaign – Let’s Get to School
Tai Tokerau – in the hopes of rallying communities to help students get to school.


To read more in the series, visit link).

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 7:56 pm, 8 March 2023

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