Attendance and Engagement Strategy

To increase attendance and engagement we need to focus on ākonga being present, participating and progressing in their learning. We all have our roles to play.


The Government has developed a strategy for tackling the decade-long decline in regular attendance and engagement in schools, based on what we have heard from the sector through Kōrero Mātauranga and the Education and Workforce Select Committee Inquiry into school attendance.  

The Strategy sets out expectations of ākonga and whānau, schools, communities and government agencies in addressing this complex problem. It builds on work that Government has already been undertaking alongside schools and communities to address attendance and engagement issues. 

The Strategy represents the primary response to the recommendations from the Education and Workforce Select Committee’s inquiry into school attendance which confirmed our understanding of the complex factors that impact on non-attendance and lack of engagement in learning. 

Select Committee Inquiry into school attendance(external link)

How does the Strategy link to other Education Strategies? 

The Strategy sits within a comprehensive framework for achieving our 30-year vision and objectives for education. This includes the Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP), the refreshed Ka Hikitia - Ka Hāpaitia, and the Action Plan for Pacific Education. Collectively, these documents set the direction towards the education future we want for all our children and young people. The Attendance and Engagement Strategy both contributes to, and is informed by these documents. 

Next steps 

Te Mahau is key to the delivery of the strategy (with support from across Te Tāhuhu) – working closely with the sector, iwi and community in regions and giving priority to regional and local voices.  

A detailed action plan will be developed to set out how actions will be delivered across these focus areas:  

  • Empowering ākonga and their whānau to engage in education
  • Strengthening school and kura engagement practice
  • Strengthening system enablers and supports for engagement
  • Strengthening cross-government collaboration to address barriers to engagement 

Our regional Te Mahau teams will support schools and kura to work more closely across government agencies and with their communities – including Māori, Pacific and disabled learners – to design local solutions.  

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