Ministry of Education streamlines to beat non-attendance

Datacom helped the Ministry of Education to streamline in order to fight truancy in schools.

The Challenge

The Ministry of Education has the aim of reducing unjustified absence and non-enrolment of children and young people. The Ministry needed a solution that would help it resolve both short-term and long-term truancy issues. Prior to 2013, the Ministry had two services supporting truancy – the District Truancy Service (DTS), which required 77 providers, and the Non-Enrolled Truancy Service (NETS), which was provided by our team. The current approach was not delivering performance improvements across the country, particularly for priority groups (Maori and Pasifika). The Ministry needed one system to better serve these children at risk.

The Solution

To tackle this challenge, the Ministry wanted to work with an organisation that had the delivery capability and track record to provide this service across New Zealand. Datacom’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) experience, along with our hands on involvement with other Ministry projects, ensured this could be achieved.

A pilot was rolled out by combining the NETS and DTS in South Auckland and Gisborne. Datacom was fully involved in the South Auckland pilot. Our solution included providing specialist people, supported by processes and a technological case management system as the backbone of the operation. Our lean management structure ensured that more resources could be channeled to front-line services. The pilot was up and running within only 15 days.

The ‘every child attending school every day’ (ecase) service’s technology provides a framework for an effective attendance service, as the combination of iPads and a purpose-built website gives field staff the ability to access information – at any time. They are then able to feed back to stakeholders in real-time. This has been very effective.

Datacom’s scalable model has been replicated across New Zealand to 18 service areas. Today, we directly provide attendance services to six of these areas.

“Datacom’s ability to work collaboratively with schools, students, families/whānau and other community agencies has brought noticeable gains. An ethos of exploring new relationships and collaborative opportunities to continually improve student attendance has been a major factor in the ecase service. Responsive delivery of services, technology support and past history have enabled Datacom to have that extra edge. Self review and close working relationships with National and regional Ministry staff further enhances the service.”

Leo Trompetter - Senior Manager, ECP, Ministry of Education


100% of 2013 non-enrolled cases were closed within 30 days, while 100% of cases are allocated within 24 hours.