“The Government’s new goal to tackle truancy of 70 per cent attendance by 2024 is spectacularly unambitious and speaks volumes about our declining education system,” says ACT’s Education spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“The Government has given themselves an end goal that should be the bare minimum. What about the other 30 per cent? Is this really the best the $366 million worth of bureaucrats at Ministry of Education is capable of?

“Our education standards are falling across every measure and truancy is out of control. This has been greatly exacerbated by Labour removing education standards and kids becoming disengaged after lockdown and disruptions.

“Our education system has been declining for years now, Labour’s unaspiring goal appears to just be wanting to slow the decline rather than turn it around. We need real change to our education system so we have better outcomes for New Zealand children and ultimately the entire country.

“Children have a wide range of needs and not all of them fit into the same box. That was why ACT’s charter schools were so successful and changed the lives of many children who were struggling to fit into our traditional schooling system.

“Having outstanding teachers is often the factor that makes a real difference in children’s lives as well. That’s why ACT would introduce the Teaching Excellence Reward Fund (TERF) to ensure teachers who are making a difference are getting rewarded, and not fleeing to a bigger salary in Australia.

“Our education system is a slow moving disaster that needs real change, not unambitious targets and no ideas how to achieve them.”