The Law Relating to Truancy

The role of the Truancy Service is to provide a supportive service for students, parents, families, schools and the wider community and to work collaboratively to enhance the learning opportunities for all our children.

All Parents are now responsible for contacting their child's/children's school or college on the morning that they will not be attending.  Contact maybe either be a phone call, text or a visit to the school on the morning to inform them the reason for their child's/children's absence.

For your information, the Education Act states:

29.1a    Every parent of a student who does not attend school whilst enrolled at a Registered school commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine.

31.4     A Truancy Officer on producing ID can detain any person over the age of 5 years and ask them questions of name, address, date of birth, school and the reasons for their absence from school.

31.5     If not satisfied by the answer, a Truany Officer or Police may take the person home or to a school they believe them to be enrolled in.

31.6     Any person involved in obstruction of the powers of this Act committs an offence and will be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1000.00.

Employment of School Age Children

30.1     No person shall employ any person who has not turned 16 at any time during school hours unless there has been a certificate of exemption produced from the school.

So What is Truancy?

Any unjustified absence from school, whether 1 hour or longer.

Non-enrolment is an extreme form of Truancy.

It is now generally NOT acceptable to keep any student out of school for:

  • lateness in the mornings,
  • to take care of younger siblings during the day,
  • because they are tired from participating in later or out of school activities the previous night,
  • because you want to take them shopping,
  • holidays during a school term,
  • unjustified sickness (more than 3 days away needs a Doctor's certificate)
  • to work.

You may be prosecuted under the Education Act for allowing any of the above!

A signed and dated note given tot he school/college before their absence is recommended.

A signed and dated Doctor's Certificate is also required by the school if a student has more than 3 days away sick.

It is the Parents or the Child's caregiver who is responsible for ensuring that their children attend school every day that the school is open.

The Wairarapa District Truancy Service is here to help, please feel free to contact our office for assistance or information 06 3795407 or 021 509584.