Plan to throw book at truants’ parents

The Dominion Post 01 January 2008

Parents who do not ensure their children attend school could be forced to take courses in parenting skills as part of a crackdown on truancy. In the run-up to the new school year Education Ministry officials are preparing advice for the Government on ways to punish parents who ignore their legal responsibilities under the Education Act. Moves being considered include more prosecutions, stiffer fines and giving judges powers to make erring people sit parenting skills courses to address problems such as anger management, drug and alcohol abuse, and budgeting.

The plans follow The Dominion Post’s revelation that the Government’s new electronic enrolment system has uncovered thousands of children who are not even enrolled. Education officials are battling a truancy tidal wave, with as many as 30,000 children cutting class each week.