Election 2023: National's education spokesperson Erica Stanford grills Education Minister Jan Tinetti on attendance data

Education is a crucial area to get right for New Zealand's future, but who is better placed to steer the ship, Labour or National?  

Labour's Education Minister Jan Tinetti and National's spokesperson for education Erica Stanford sat down with Rebecca Wright to make their case for Kiwi kids' futures.   

One of the key issues facing schools at the moment is attendance.  

Labour has put $160 million towards attendance in the last year and there has been an uplift of around 10 percent in regular attendance, which is showing up more than 90 percent of the time, as a result.   

However, regular attendance was still only at 59.9 percent in term one of 2023.  

Tinetti said that "there is good news".  

"It is turning around, and we know that the drivers behind non-attendance are complex and varied," she said.  

Tinetti claims that Labour has put in an "evidence-based, strategic plan that has been really well received by the sector".  

Funded services include additional attendance officers and bringing their services closer to schools.   

"It is going to be a big turnaround," Tinetti admitted, "but it is turning around".  

Stanford said that "it's only been in the last very short while where the Government have actually tried to do anything".  

Stanford admitted that "term one data looks like it's turned around a bit, I really hope that it has".  

However, she then said "term two data, which we don't have yet and we won't have till after the election, should be out by now".  

"There's no reason for it not to be out by now," Stanford said.  

She then claimed that "the word on the street" is that term two data will show that regular attendance is less than 50 percent again.  

Stanford then asked Tinetti directly: "Have you seen that data and what does it say for term two?"  

Tinetti quickly replied that she had "absolutely not seen that data".  

She said that Stanford had been told a number of times, "term two is our biggest data pool that we collect in education".  

"It is the only data pool that shows the longitudinal changes in attendance but it's also where we get our role numbers from.

"That's why it takes so long," Tinetti said.  

"That's all complete rubbish," Stanford quickly replied.  

"I've been talking to people at the Ministry (of Education) who say, when they look at term two data, they look at it exactly the same," she said.   

"There's no more work required, the fact is that data should be out."  

Tinetti denied that this was the case.  

Watch the full video for more.    

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