Fewer students playing truant in county schools

Wrenn School in Wellingborough does not have a truancy problem but a special team is available to work with families
Wrenn School in Wellingborough does not have a truancy problem but a special team is available to work with families

The rate of truanting children, who persistently skip school, has dropped according to the latest Government figures.

Northamptonshire now has a below average number of students consistently skipping school with 5.1 per cent recorded as “persistent absentees” compared to 5.2 nationally, for the 2011-12 period.

The county councillor responsible for education said he was delighted with the news, despite there being only a small percentage difference between the national rate.

Cllr Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children, learning and skills, said: “ We are proud to say that across all schools in Northamptonshire our figure for persistent absence is below the national average at a record low of 5.1 per cent.

“I am delighted at the sterling work done by our schools and their parent support advisers.”

Cllr Grant added that the gains are due to the tighter monitoring of absence carried out by schools and earlier intervention put in place to re-engage the pupils.

He added: “Many schools employ their own parent support advisers who work in the communities to ensure that parents meet their duty to ensure that their children are educated.”

Persistent absence is now defined as when a pupil misses more than 15 per cent of classes.

This represents 4,620 pupils meeting the Government’s criteria down from 5,305 the previous year and there is a commitment from the council to work with schools and parents to reduce this number further in 2013-14.

William Thallon, headteacher at Wrenn School, Wellingborough, said the drop in truancy rates is fantastic news for the county and the hard work schools are doing.

He added that his school does not have a particular problem with truancy. However, they have a special team to work with families to help engage children back into school life, if necessary.