Broken promise leaves schools chasing truants

The Government’s broken promise to provide extra funding to tackle truants has left schools picking up the tab for chasing absent students, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“National promised in 2008 it would give schools an additional $4 million a year to reduce truancy.

“However, schools haven’t seen a cent of that money.

“Despite its much-heralded new truancy service, the frequent truant rate has increased by a massive 30 per cent over the past year.

“A recent PISA survey found New Zealand stood out as having one of the strongest links between skipping school and maths achievement.

“National also promised to crack down on truants by prosecuting more parents. Yet fewer parents have been prosecuted under this Government than the former Labour government.

“These broken promises follow another to increase frontline education staff.

“Hekia Parata today tried to suggest National’s truancy policy is all going to plan when it is clearly a failure. The Minister is AWOL herself – she is in la la land,” Chris Hipkins says.