Parents to be prosecuted over child's truancy

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

The parents of a Wairarapa high school student will be prosecuted for failing to ensure the child's attendance at school after two and a half years of ongoing truancy issues.

Kuranui College in Greytown says the prosecution under the Education Act is its only remaining option after considerable efforts to address the the student's "significant non-attendance issues".

The student had been referred to the Rock On programme - an inter-agency truancy programme which includes Truancy Services, Child Youth and Family, a Youth Aid police officer, a guidance counsellor and other agencies when needed - but continued to be absent from school.

Kuranui College principal Geoff Shepherd said prosecuting the parents was the only course of action left.

"This is not an action which the college has taken lightly and everybody involved is extremely disappointed that this has become necessary," he said.

"However, Kuranui is bound to carry out this prosecution by the Education Act. We are obliged to take steps to prosecute when all other steps have been exhausted and this course of action has been approved by the Ministry of Education."

Mr Shepherd said the school had followed a "highly prescriptive" process aimed at supporting the student and parents at every step of the way.

"This has been a two and half year journey, but with no improvement in this student's attendance, prosecution has become necessary.

"Teachers and agencies have worked hard to ensure that this student receives an education at Kuranui and there has been a process of clear communication, face to face meetings and family group conferences to try to resolve this matter.

"Ultimately our responsibility is to ensure that every Kuranui student receives the preparation they need for later life and we make no apologies for taking that responsibility seriously."

- APNZ

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