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Greens warn Government’s truancy crackdown will harm struggling families

26 August 2022

The State Government’s plan to crackdown on parents who don’t send their children to school will only compound social disadvantage and exclusion, warn the Greens.

“Prosecuting parents only addresses the symptoms of truancy, not the cause”, said Greens Education Spokesperson, Robert Simms MLC.

"The real factors behind poor school attendance are the failures of successive Governments to deliver appropriate educational and social support services for disadvantaged families," said Mr Simms.

“While the Government’s announcement might make good headlines, it doesn’t make good policy.”

Mission Australia has found that that school attendance can be affected by underlying issues including housing, physical and mental health, and unemployment[1]

"If the Government are truly concerned about overall truancy levels, they should instead be implementing initiatives that improve the lives of families and students, like stable housing, anti-bullying programs, mental-health support, income support for families, and better school transport".

South Australian Government data reveals that schools with lowest attendance are predominantly in regional areas and schools with predominantly First Nation students.[2]