Rates of tru­ancy on the in­crease

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Remember When? -

KENT’S pupils are more likely to bunk off lessons than those in other parts of the coun­try.

The num­ber of skipped lessons in both Kent and Med­way’s schools in­creased last year from one per cent to 1.12 per cent of half-day ses­sions.

That com­pares with the over­all tru­ancy rate in Eng­land’s schools – which in­creased slightly last year to a record 1.01 per cent of half-day ses­sions.

Worse

In Kent, unau­tho­rised ab­sences from pri­mary schools in­creased from 0.55 per cent to 0.62 per cent, while secondary school ab­sences were up from 1.49 per cent to 1.57 per cent.

But some pupils are worse than oth­ers. More than 7,000 pupils typ­i­cally missed a fifth of their lessons, both with and without per­mis­sion, al­though that num­ber had fallen from 4.2 per cent to four per cent in the past year, above the na­tional av­er­age of 3.6 per cent.

In Med­way the num­ber of per­sis­tent ab­sen­tees stayed con­stant at 3.6 per cent, which equals just more than 1,300 pupils.

KCC Cab­i­net mem­ber for chil­dren, fam­i­lies and ed­u­ca­tion stan­dards Ley­land Rid­ings said: “I am pleased that Kent has again shown sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in at­ten­dance at secondary schools across the county. This is bet­ter than the im­prove­ments in­di­cated for the rest of the south east and is in line with na­tional im­prove­ment.

Fines

“In ad­di­tion, due to the ded­i­cated fo­cus on per­sis­tent ab­sen­tees, Kent schools have also achieved a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in pupils who miss 20 per cent or more of their school­ing.”

Mr Rid­ings at­trib­uted the drop in ab­sences to a num­ber of ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing in-school sup­port, fam­ily group con­fer­ences, tru­ancy sweeps and more for­mal mea­sures, such as fines.

“We can­not be com­pla­cent, we in­tend to main­tain this trend of im­prove­ment and have a range of ini­tia­tives in place to achieve this.”

Chil­dren stopped dur­ing a tru­ancy sweep in Folke­stone

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