Ministers took a back seat as ākonga, kaiako, parents and principals became TV stars to help launch a nationwide school attendance campaign - Every School Day is a Big Day.
Created in partnership with Te Tāhuhu o te Mātaruanga I Ministry of Education, Stanley St brought the campaign to life to showcase how every single day at school is a big day for our ākonga, and to raise awareness that right now, almost half of our children across the country are not attending regularly.
The ambitious campaign was filmed simultaneously, in one day by Stanley St’s in-house team of videographers, on mobile phones. With a cast of over 5,000 kiwi children and just under 2,500 clips captured at schools all over New Zealand, the film includes Rangikura School - where it was officially launched by Ministers Tinetti and Robertson this Monday.
Stanley St’s Executive Creative Director, Brad Collett, said “Authentically capturing a typical school day experienced by real tamariki across the country, was super important to us for this piece of work. We wanted to get across how, from their perspective, every single day at school can be filled with learning moments, fun moments, sporting moments, cultural moments, connection moments and all those in between little moments that make school too big to miss.”
The campaign forms an important part of the Attendance and Engagement Strategy, now called ‘All in for Learning’, launched in June this year, which set targets for reversing the decline in attendance and engagement in learning.
Brought to life via TV, radio, online video, social media, outdoor, display and sector channels, the campaign will be running for the remainder of the school term and into the school holidays, until 16th October. This national activity will also play a key role in boosting awareness of the work already underway in local schools and communities with Te Mahau, a new entity within Te Tāhuhu o te Mātaruanga.
Group Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, Lindsey Brittain added “Our research told us that children not attending school and engaging in learning was not top-of-mind (5%) and that there were a number of misconceptions about this issue. Prioritisation sits at the heart of this campaign. We want to get parents, whānau, ākonga and communities to pause and think about the importance and scale of this problem, that it affects us all and create a stronger belief that we can change that - together. It gives us a window into the holistic benefits of school for our tamariki’s life journey - it’s where they learn, where they find themselves, build connections and gain a sense of wellbeing and belonging. My team and I are humbled to have had the opportunity to work with Stanley Street on this critical mahi.”
Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti, said: “There are no quick fixes to attendance especially where there is chronic non-attendance. There can be many barriers but we are working with schools to help turn our school attendance rates around."
“Going to school regularly is how our kids learn. It means they are better able to pass exams and get qualifications – that’s obviously important. But being at school also helps children and young people develop in other important ways. It strengthens their social, cultural and mental wellbeing. Attending school means that these young people will grow up having more choices,” Tinetti said.
“This campaign is intended to support “practical measures to encourage attendance already under way” in schools, and was evidence of the Government’s “laser sharp vision” in improving attendance”, Tinetti explained.
The Minister believed some people had “forgotten how crucial education is in a young person’s life”, making it easier to dismiss the impact absences were having on their children’s learning.
“So we’re reminding our communities of that importance – and that’s what this campaign is about,” Tinetti said.
To support the development of the campaign, research was undertaken by Cultural Consultancy, Tātou and Rutherford Consulting, part of the Waitapu Group, to capture the voices of our key audiences.
"Hui and Talanoa sessions and meetings were conducted over a two week period in which we spoke to over 250 people including parents, whānau, caregivers, ākonga, community leaders, kaiako and teachers across Aotearoa", says Skye Kimura, CEO, Tātou.
"It's great to see the insights from these hui and talanoa in the campaign itself"
Thomas Scovell, Head of Strategy, says, “This campaign, “every school day is a big day” recognises the wider value of school for our children and comes from extensive research with ākonga, their whānau, communities and teachers to understand their experiences and the barriers and motivations to attendance. It is important to note that it lives as part of a wider Attendance and Engagement Strategy from the Ministry, which we’ve branded “All in for Learning”, that aims to remove the wider systemic and societal barriers to our tamariki regularly going to school, participating and progressing in."
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