NZ Herald Dec 12, 2008
Parents of truants will be fined $300 for the first offence and $3000 for subsequent wagging under legislation being rushed through Parliament. The Education (National Standards) Amendment Bill gives the Education Minister the power to set national literacy and numeracy standards. But it also doubles truancy penalties. If a parent does not enroll a child at school, the fine will also be $3000 – double what it was before. But the Labour Party and the Auckland Secondary Schools Principals’ Association last night doubted the bigger fines would make any difference.
Up to 30,000 children a week are estimated to play truant from their classrooms. “Parents are very much in the same boat as schools, struggling to ensure the kids are in school,” association president Peter Gall said. “Unless the truancy is condoned, it would not be right to prosecute the parents.”