Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Fewer pupils in Swindon skipping school
THE number of children across the town who are persistently absent from school has fallen.
A total of 1,405 pupils in primary, secondary and special schools missed more than a month of school last year.
That number was down from 1,490 in 2010/2011.
Overall absence, which includes both authorised and unauthorised absences, is also down across Swindon, with 5.0 per cent of pupils missing school sessions each day compared to 5.5 per cent the year before.
Coun David Renard, the Swindon Council cabinet member for children’s services, said: “There is a lot of good work that goes on at the council to work with schools to reduce absences and it seems to be working.”
In primary schools in Swindon the percentage of persistent absentees was this year was 2.7.
This is an improvement on the previous year, which saw persistent absentees in primary schools standing at at 3.7 per cent.
There was a marginal rise in secondary schools, up to 8.0 per cent from 7.5 per cent; and in special schools, up to 17.7 per cent from 16.6 per cent.
The statistics are in line with national figures which show almost 60,000 fewer children across the country were persistently absent from school last year compared with the year before.
Last year, 333,850 students were persistently absent from school – down from 392,305 in 2010/11.
The decline follows the Government’s decision to lower the persistent absence threshold from 20 per cent of school missed to 15 per cent of school missed so that heads can step in earlier to tackle problems.
In secondary schools, 7.4 per cent of pupils were persistently absent in 2011/12 – a decline from 8.4 per cent in 2010/11.
In primary schools, 3.1 per cent of pupils were persistently absent in 2011/12 compared with 3.9 per cent in 2010/11.
Overall absence is also down across all schools in England.
Last year, an average of 327,000 pupils were out of school each day. This compares to 370,000 pupils in 2010/11.
Children who attend school regularly were four times more likely to achieve five or more good GCSEs including English and Maths than those who are persistently absent.
A spokesman for the Department For Education said: “If children are not in school they cannot learn.
“Too many children are still missing too many lessons.
“We must continue to tackle poor attendance and make sure every pupil gets a good education.”