Minister Follows Stuckey’s Lead on Truancy

15 May 2008 2:41 PMJann Stuckey

15 May 2008

Member for Currumbin, Jann Stuckey, has welcomed Education Queensland’s sudden interest in addressing truancy after she and others raised concerns of growing truancy issues on the Gold Coast but says more needs to be done.

New truancy guidelines were announced in State Parliament yesterday to assist schools deal with the high instance of students wagging classes.

“I welcome the guidelines introduced by the Minister as a step in the right direction, but have to say there is nothing new or innovative about these measures, “ said Ms Stuckey.

“In fact, many Queenslanders would have expected them to be in place already. I know both of the high schools in my electorate have a school attendance policy, which includes checking off students in each class.

“One school even uses a computerised ID attendance system, which enables students to electronically record their attendance for each lesson.

“Admissions that the Minister and Education Queensland recognised the need for guidelines supports the argument of my taskforce which requested a Gold Coast based Truancy Liaison Officer and a school-based police office.

Ms Stuckey is calling on the Minister to release the recommendations of the innovative research project in the Logan-Albert-Beaudesert education district for consideration as further assistance for schools to combat truancy.

Ms Stuckey continued, “In effect, the Minister’s response supports the calls from the truancy task-force I initiated for a Gold Coast based truancy liaison officer and school based police officer.

“It is important that children receive a complete education, whether it is through a high school, TAFE or an apprenticeship.

“Furthermore, through a Question on Notice tabled in Parliament today, I sought information on the number of suspensions and expulsions of students from schools in the Gold Coast region so that figures are revealed.

“Unless Education Queensland are prepared to acknowledge the true extent of this problem any announcements by the Minister are merely lip-service responses to negative media stories and will not reduce truancy.

“I shall be holding another truancy task force meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss the Minister’s 5 step guidelines and discuss further ideas and recommendations from the group,” Ms Stuckey said.