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Absence in York schools remains low


3:26pm 28th March 2012

Figures released today (28th March 2012) by the Department for Education show that absence levels in York schools are continuing to decrease.

Absence in primary schools in the last school year, 2010-11, was 4.5 per cent, falling by 0.3 per cent from the previous year.

Under the new definition used to measure a Persistent Absentee (anybody absent for 15 per cent of their sessions), only  2.8 per cent of York primary  pupils came in this category. Of the 150 other local authorities in England? only five others had lower rates of absence and persistent absence in primary schools.

Absence levels in the city’s secondary schools have also reduced. Total absence fell to 6.4 per cent from 6.9 per cent the previous year. In addition the numbers of pupils in secondary schools regarded as Persistent Absentees reduced from 10 per cent to 7.8 per cent – one of the the lowest levels in the region.

Councillor Janet Looker, Cabinet member for Education, Children & Young People’s Services, said: 

“I am extremely pleased with these latest figures as there are clear links between children who have good school attendance and those who have good achievement in their education.

“Research suggests that missing 17 days from school can result in a drop of one GCSE grade. I know that schools and parents put a tremendous amount of work into encouraging and maintaining good school attendance. These latest figures show that their combined efforts have had a significant impact.”

The Department for Education has recently changed the threshold definition for a Persistent Absentee so that a pupil missing 15 per cent of their sessions (down from 20 per cent) will now be regarded as a Persistent Absentee.

Parents who are concerned about their child’s willingness to attend school are encouraged to contact school and talk to them rather than allow the situation to develop. Where parents do not ensure the regular attendance of their children at school, the local authority, as a last resort will seek to prosecute parents.

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