Legislative Council: Tuesday, February 07, 2023


Public Schools, Absenteeism

In reply to the Hon. S.L. GAME ().16 November 2022).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Education, Training and Skills has advised:

Student Support Services currently employs over 30 FTE truancy social workers and senior social workers distributed across local education offices to provide truancy services. These roles are in addition to a range of mental health and wellbeing roles across our schools—which the Malinauskas Labor government is expanding.

Truancy is something this government has been doing a great deal of work to address, including hiring extra truancy officers with a social work background, introducing a pilot program working with Aboriginal students, and focusing on education family conferences.

I am pleased that the attendance rate rebounded following a drop to 87 per cent in 2020 as COVID first impacted, sitting at 88.9 per cent in 2021.