Unauthorised pupil absences rise across North Somerset
PUBLISHED: 13:30 27 October 2011
THE number of primary school pupils missing lessons without permission has risen by almost 10 per cent in the past year.
Figures released by North Somerset Council show the amount of ‘unauthorised’ sessions missed by youngsters in primary-level schools across the district rose by 2,896 over the autumn and spring terms of the past two academic years.
In contrast, secondary schools across the district experienced only a small increase in the same period, with only 202 more sessions missed.
In total, across the district’s 65 primary, junior and infant schools 24,748 morning or afternoon sessions were missed through unauthorised absence out of a possible 169,782, amounting to a rise of 8.5 per cent on the previous year’s figures.
But in the region’s nine secondary-level schools, the number of sessions missed only rose from 35,312 to 35,514.
Although the figures include truancy, they also take into account occasions where parents took their children out of lessons without getting permission from the school.
The number of children deemed as ‘persistent’ absentees through missing 64 or more sessions throughout the school year also rose in both primary and secondary schools.
In primary schools the number rose from 163 to 180, and in secondary schools the number rose from 395 to 406 – making up 3.8 per cent of the district’s secondary population.
A spokesman for the council said: “We work closely with schools, pupils and families to maximise school attendance and make sure that children and young people across North Somerset benefit from the education opportunities we offer.”