Truancy drops by 4,000 in one yearBy Lorna Catling
July 07, 2009
The number of school sessions missed by pupils in Bracknell Forest has dropped by more than 4,000 in one year.
Official figures show the overall rate of absence in the borough’s schools dropped by 0.22 per cent, or 4,151 sessions, comparing the autumn term of 2007 to the autumn term in 2008.
The figures, which are the latest available, were released on Thursday, June 18, and show the borough has a better attendance percentage than the England average.
Martin Gocke, Bracknell Forest Council chief officer for access and inclusion, said: “It’s very encouraging to see the figures for school absences in Bracknell Forest for the autumn term of 2008 have improved overall, compared with the same period in 2007.
“Bracknell Forest Council works closely with schools as we have a duty to make sure our children get the education they are entitled to.
“We will continue to work with pupils who truant, and their parents, so they understand the importance of their education.
“We also discourage parents from taking their children on holidays during term time. It can disrupt learning significantly and we try to explain that every single lesson counts.”
The greatest improvement has been from secondary schools in Bracknell Forest, which saw a drop in missed sessions of 2,435. There are two sessions a day – morning and afternoon.
Secondary schools in the borough bucked the national trend for a percentage increase in unauthorised absence of 0.02 per cent.
Bracknell Forest secondary schools reported a drop in the unauthorised absence rate of 0.03 per cent, which equates to 2,248 fewer sessions missed.
Primary schools also did well, reporting a drop in missed sessions, which includes both authorised and unauthorised absences, of 1,716.
Nearby Wokingham did well too, with only 5.35 per cent of sessions being lost through absenteeism.
The South East as a region did better than the English average with 6.17 per cent of sessions being missed through absence, and every local authority in Berkshire beat the regional average.
Stephen Clarke, managing director of Truancy Call Ltd, said: “It is vital that schools implement early prevention strategies by challenging parents and alerting them each and every time their child is absent.”