Attendance, absence and truancy in New Zealand schools: 2006 Preliminary Report

Publication Details

This report documents the preliminary results of a survey conducted in the week of 21-25 August 2006 to capture a ‘week in the life’ of attendance at school in New Zealand . Responses were received from 2,216 schools, representing 91 percent of schools surveyed.

Author(s): Research Division, Ministry of Education

Date Published: 2006

Executive Summary

Participating in education is fundamental to student achievement. The Education Act 1989 requires that parents enrol their children at school and ensure they attend school whenever it is open for instruction unless there is a good reason for them to be absent.

Every day a student is not at school is a day they are not learning. Over time, patterns of non-attendance can place students at risk of poor achievement and early drop-out, thus compromising their later outcomes in life across a range of social and economic measures.

The Ministry of Education continues to actively promote student engagement in education through a multi-year programme of work called the Student Engagement Initiative, which aims to decrease suspensions, exclusions and early-leaving rates and to increase school attendance. A survey on attendance, absence, and truancy, carried out every two years, aims to further inform the Ministry's work to improve student engagement in education.

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