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Digging Deeper Into Truancy

A transparent paper trail ensures proper oversight and progress

The problem of truancy is as old as compulsory education, but TToH has introduced a completely new way of tackling it.

Under a new contract to the Ministry of Education from the start of this year, TToH is running a School Attendance service for 171 schools from Tutira to Wairarapa.

Previously, schools simply texted and phoned Attendance Officers directly, to go to a truant's home and bring the child to school.

However, TToH Rangatahi Services manager Rongo Puketapu says that process did not address the root causes of a child's non-attendance.

TToH is taking a wholistic approach to helping tamariki and rangatahi remain engaged in education by looking more deeply into the cause of their absences. This often means dealing with family difficulties. 

Schools play their part in the process by making first contact with the family of an absent child, to ascertain that the absence is unjustified, before referring the case to TToH to follow up.

Attendance Officers pick up the case immediately, assess the situation, and call in appropriate services to help the family resolve any issues keeping children out of school.

A transparent paper trail ensures proper oversight and progress from that point.

Rongo says "it's all about empowering the family so the child's education doesn't suffer".

Some schools are still getting accustomed to the idea of having to make contact with a truant's family before referring to TToH, but most are enthusiastic about the new way of working.

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