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For Immediate Release
January 16, 2019

“When Children Disappear” Report Highlights the Need for Investment in Education

St. John’s, NL… The Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association commends the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate for its extensive report “Chronic Absenteeism: When Children Disappear”. The NLTA has been advocating for more investment in education and the information from the Report is consistent with messaging throughout other reports and specifically from research provided for the Invest in Our Kids online resource.

“In order to address student absenteeism, barriers to student-teacher and school-parent relationships must be addressed,” says Dean Ingram, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association. “Lower class sizes and increased allocation for guidance and school administration are necessary. As well, there needs to be greater cooperation and ownership of the problem by agencies outside of education.”

The school factors that were identified by the Child and Youth Advocate that contribute to chronic absenteeism include lack of strong relationships between teachers and students, poor communication between school and parents and insufficient personnel to prevent and address attendance issues. The report went on to say that school attendance is encouraged if the individual learning needs and interests of the student was met by school personnel and if there was mental and emotional support at school.

“We have stated on numerous occasions that government must step up and invest in our kids and the future prosperity of the province”, continues Ingram. “This investment must include a reduction in class size, set standards for class composition – so that all students in our classrooms can be supported in maximizing their potential in their own unique ways in safe and caring learning environments, and provide special supports to enable students with special needs and mental health issues to access the same opportunities as their peers.”

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For further information contact:
Lesley-Ann Browne, NLTA Communications, Tel: 709-726-3223, ext. 228; 682-3751 (cellular); labrowne@nlta.nl.ca