10 Jun 2009

Schools want ministry support for truant text schemes

2:50 pm on 10 June 2009

There is a call for more government support for the use of text message technology to catch truants.

Wellington's Wainuiomata High School has been sending automated text messages to parents for the past two months, asking why their child is absent from school.

Principal Rob Mill says the school had an above average truancy rate but that has been significantly reduced since the text system was introduced.

Wellington High School principal Prue Kelly says her school has been using a text system for four years, with no support from the Ministry of Education.

She believes such schemes are worthy of more ministry involvement and perhaps even subsidies.

She says the system reinforces the message that attendance is a shared responsibility and that parents, students and the school need to work together.