School bench with stationery in classroom
Chart of the Month: Regions with the best school attendance
Published in May 2024 newsletter

School attendance rates have come under the spotlight recently as the coalition government has set itself lofty targets to raise New Zealand’s very poor school attendance record. The Government has set a target of ensuring 80% of students are present for more than 90% of the term by 2030.

In the May 2024 Chart of the Month, we look at how school attendance rates compare across territorial authorities in New Zealand. The numbers are sobering, with fewer than a third of school children regularly attending school in the 2023 academic year in some territorial authorities.

Chart 1 shows the territorial authorities with the best attendance record in the 2023 academic year. Although Carterton District heads the ranking, the top 10 include a mix of large cities (Wellington City, Palmerston North, Dunedin), and largely rural districts (Tasman District, Ashburton District, Southland District).

Infometrics publishes school attendance rates for each territorial authority in its Quarterly Economic Monitor. School attendance is presented as the percentage of school students who attend greater than 90% of their classes and includes students at primary, intermediate, and secondary schools.

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