School attendance initiatives welcome – but more is needed

Initiatives announced by the Government today to help get young people back to school are steps in the right direction but even more assistance is needed, say secondary teachers.

Chris Abercrombie, acting president of PPTA Te Wehengarua, says more school attendance officers are a welcome addition but schools need more pastoral and guidance staff to be the ambulance at the top of the cliff.

“We desperately need more pastoral and guidance staff in our schools to help identify the students who are struggling, for a variety of reasons, and work with these rangatahi and their families through the problems and issuses and keep them engaged at school – before we lose them.

"Relationships with students’ whānau and caregivers are hugely important – but teachers simply don’t have the time or the special skills that are often needed. Teachers and principals have implored the government, through our current collective agreement negotiations, to give schools more pastoral staffing support.

“We also urge the Government to invest more in redesigning alternative education and providing an end-to-end system of support for children and young people at risk of disengaging from education. It is crucial that there are effective educational options for those young people who are most in need.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 21 February 2023 10:25