Truancy officers needed in Geraldton, says Liberal MP Ian Blayney

Geraldton Guardian
File image.
Camera IconFile image. Credit: WA News

Truancy officers are needed in Geraldton because current strategies to combat the problem aren’t working, according to Liberal MP Ian Blayney.

The member for Geraldton today said he would raise the issue with Education Minister Sue Ellery through a grievance motion in State Parliament.

He said strategies in place – including sending an SMS to parents, along with a range of reporting and online resources and incentives – were not working.

“Truancy officers should be given the authority to pick up school aged children either reported or seen wandering and loitering during school hours and return these students to their schools.

“While I understand that some staff working from Education Regional Offices may be designated as Badges Attendance Officers, with the authority to stop and question individuals they believe to be truant from school, and to work with students and their families to overcome barriers to regular school attendance – I believe dedicated truancy officers patrolling our city’s streets will be more effective in returning students to school in the first instance.

“The other strategies can be implemented more effectively once the students are returned to school.

“Another problem is that some students who are wandering around, aren’t from Geraldton but another town.

“Hence local schools aren’t responsible – the truants are enrolled elsewhere.

“The system, as it is, isn’t working.”

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