Judge Beecroft reports a drop in youth offending which he attributes, in part, to schools working hard to keeping all young people in school.  This is a timely reminder as school starts back over the next few weeks.

We  know that youth who truant are inevitably drawn to other bored young truants and together they position themselves perfectly for trouble. Our prisons are full of adults who dropped out of school – and now struggle with low literacy and numeracy, and a future of unemployment, underemployment or crime.

Truancy must be viewed as a red flag for parents, schools and communities.

It is not a phase youth go through – it is a clear indicator that help is needed.  Left unchecked truancy will have  long term impacts on a young person’s life.  Not only do they fall behind in their schoolwork, but also their pro-social friends move on without them.

Youth who truant frequently don’t have the skills to seek help for themselves, so others need to take action to ensure truancy doesn’t become a habit.

Everybody has a role in reducing truancy:

  • Parents are responsible for getting their children to school, and keeping track of them. Parenting is a tough job and in a country that applauds ‘do it yourself’, it can be hard to ask for help. We need to make it easy for parents to get help and  reinforce there is no shame in asking for it.
  • Schools need robust systems to detect truancy. Schools who act promptly when students begin to truant achieve the best results.
  • Communities can help. Family, friends and neighbours can team up to support teens struggling with school. Malls and shops can choose not to serve students during school hours, and those working with youth can take a ‘no excuses stand’ to their going to school.

When we all choose not to justify truancy as being an inevitable outcome of ‘school not being for everyone’, we make a positive investment in the future of our youth and the health of our communities.

What role could you play in reducing truancy in Auckland?


Read our submission on charter schools

What are your views on the NZ government’s plan to introduce charter schools? Did you have any thoughts on the other changes included in the draft legislation, like the requirement for all school boards to “ensure that every student at the school is able to attain his or her highest possible standard in educational achievement”?

Like many other education organisations, COMET Auckland made a submission on the Education Amendment Act, which included charter schools. You can read our full submission on our website, here.

Let us know your views – or better yet, provide a link to your own submission.

Last days to have your say on charter schools

Tomorrow is your last chance to have your say about one of New Zealand’s most controversial changes in education.

Submissions on the Education Amendment Bill 2012 close tomorrow (January 24th). The main purpose of the Bill is to set out the provisions for Partnership Schools, Kura Hourua, more commonly known as “charter schools”. Many of these provisions are the same as for other schools, but some (such as exemption from the Public Information Act, and freedom to employ some untrained and unregistered teachers) have been quite controversial.

The Bill also makes some other changes, including:

  • Greater flexibility for state schools to run multiple timetables
  • Formalising teachers’ surrender and retention powers
  • Allowing student numbers to be issued to children who are not in ECE
  • Requiring all school boards to act in such a way as to “ensure that every student at the school is able to attain his or her highest possible standard in educational achievement”

If education is important to you, make a submission to give the government your views on how this Bill can best contribute to learning, especially for students who are not currently achieving well in our education system.

You can download the Bill, and have your say on it, here.

Auckland Local Board education snapshots

Get the latest education and skills info for local boards in Auckland, presented in a visually engaging and data-rich infographic. image for knowledge akl

Education, learning and skills are key issues in all our communities, so it’s important to have specific information at the local level. Over the next two months, snapshots for all the local boards will be available.

To find data from the local boards of interest to you, click here

Let’s give our children a great start – enrol them for school now

It’s school enrolment time again. Being enrolled and starting school from Day One is crucial for giving our young people the best start.

Every year hundreds of students turn up to schools without being enrolled first. Tell everyone you know that their child will have a better start to the year if they are enrolled in advance and present on Day One.

Why is it so important to start school on time?

  • Great schools get their students working from Day One
  • Kids who miss out the first few days often miss out on bonding activities, group formation, and important learning
  • From the school’s perspective, planning the academic year is a hard task so having a view of the number of kids enrolled means better resources, timetables and creates a well-organised environment
  • If there are particular subjects your child wants to enrol in, they need to get in quick to avoid classes being full
  • If you know your children won’t be able to attend school from Day One, at least let the school know so they can hold the place for your child and are ready to make them part of the class when they do start.  

Tips for getting enrolled in time:

  • Every school has a different enrolment date so make sure you have called the school or checked the website for enrolment and school start dates
  • Contact your school if you are concerned about the costs involved with getting your child fully equipped for school as they can often help.

Welcome to COMET Auckland’s blog

Kia ora and welcome.

Thanks for visiting our blog. Here, you will find information, data and analysis about the education issues that effect all of us. Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing the COMET Auckland team who will be sharing interesting, up to date content for you to read, share and comment on.

We are always keen to hear your thoughts on important education issues for Auckland, so connect with us here or via Twitter or

Happy reading,

Alison, Hau, Shirley and Susan.