June 9, 2023

Truancy and the CBD area of towns

AHE Statement on Truancy

Below is the AHE statement on Truancy. It may or may not be revelant to your area:

Please ensure your Auckland based support group has this message posted on its email loop.

This issue affects us all.

Auckland Home Educators has become aware of an incident in which a 13 year old home educated student was recently picked up by the Police as ‘truant’ because she was outside during school hours.

Having discussed the issue with the Ministry, the Police and Truancy Services over the course of the last 24 hours, we can confirm the following:

  • This is an isolated incident caused by an over-zealous and uneducated Police Officer
  • There is no legal requirement for home educated students to remain at home or indoors during school hours because “there is no requirement for set hours” (MoE wording)
  • An informal apology has been received over the incident
  • Local Police have been informed about the issue
  • Truancy officers will continue to operate as previously – they are familiar with home educated and correspondence students
  • While our students may carry ID cards to prove they are home educated, this is not a legal requirement

On further discussions with two Truancy Office supervisors (central and south Auckland) today, the normal course of events would run as follows:

The student may be questioned by the Police or truancy officer as to why they aren’t in school. The student’s response should be to simply explain that he/she is home educated. The officials would confirm this with the parents, the tutor (if applicable) or the Ministry of Education. If an ID card is carried, this may be shown. No further information needs to be provided.

It is AHE’s recommendation that you talk to your families about this incident and come up with a series of suitable responses e.g. “I am a home educated student. My phone number is xxx xxxx and you are welcome to call my parents to verify this.” Or “I am a home educated student. Here is my Student ID card.” It might be helpful if they know to answer any other questions with, “I’m not legally obliged to answer that question.”

The Ministry was keen for our community “not to over react to things…”, stressing that truancy is a huge issue at present, especially in South Auckland and the officer would have most probably felt (even if he were misguided) that he was doing a good thing.

If you have any questions, please email off-list – GovtLiaison@ahe.org.nz .

Kind regards,

Erena Fussell

AHE Government Liaison – your regional support network



From the Smiths:


Updated 25 March 2012: Life for Those Left Behind (Craig Smith’s Health) page 6 click here


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