February 23, 2023
Truancy officers wrong answer says Māori Party
Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says tamariki-rangatahi disengaged from kura need more pastoral care, not more truancy officers.
Education Minister Jan Tinetti released a $74 million plan this week to get young people back into the classroom, including 82 new attendance officer roles and better data collection.
Ms Ngarewa-Packer says the focus on truants is looking at the problem from the wrong end.
“These are schools that have had to reconnect with a lot of whānau who couldn’t go to school through no fault of their own so I think there needs to be more resourcing on pastoral support and not just about they are missing school – how they get them to school, why they are not going to school and how we make education relevant,” she says.