Truancy rates on the rise
August 26 2009
Truancy rates in England are increasing, according to figures released today.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has said some of this increase is due to families taking holidays during school time without getting the approval of teachers.
The data showed almost 22 million days were lost in total during the spring term and 1.5 per cent of absences were because of unauthorised holidays - an increase of 0.3 per cent on the same period last year.
According to the statistics, six in ten absences were due to illness, although when unauthorised holidays are taken into account the proportion of children failing to attend is falling.
"Our message is getting across to schools and parents that every lesson counts for children," said schools minister Vernon Coaker.
People in teaching jobs in Luton could notice a difference in absenteeism depending on whether they teach in primary or secondary schools.
The DCSF figures showed primary school children missed 5.2 per cent of school days, while secondary school pupils were absent for 7.2 per cent of classes.
Since the introduction of tougher laws on truancy, one parent has been jailed every two weeks on average.
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