Schools have closed for the holidays and some Auckland principals are wondering how many students will return when they reopen for the fourth term.
They say more teens are leaving school early, continuing a spike that started last year.
They are worried many are taking low-paid jobs that won't take them anywhere in the long-term.
Ōtāhuhu College principal Neil Watson said he noticed a big increase in students leaving school before the year was over especially among Year 13s.
"We've probably lost 30 Year 13s this year who have left early and normally we'd expect to lose maybe five to 10 so probably an extra 20 students have left early and although all of them have gone to jobs," he said.
Link to video and article: Auckland principals warn spike in students leaving early is continuing | Newshub