More primary school children missed lessons without permission this year than last
because of family holidays taken during term time.
Primary school pupils in England are missing more lessons without their teachers’ permission than a year ago, figures published today show.
Just over 24,200 pupils in primary schools skipped classes without permission on a typical day in the spring term of this year, an analysis of figures from the Department for Education reveals. This compares to almost 21,900 pupils in the spring term of last year.
The government calculates authorised and unauthorised school absence rates by the number of half-days missed.
Some 0.74% of half days were missed within the spring term of this year without teachers’ permission, compared to 0.67% of half days in the spring term of last year.
However, unauthorised absence rates among pupils in secondary schools has fallen. This spring term, 44,977 pupils missed classes without permission on an average day, compared to 46,139 last spring term. Some 1.56% of half days were missed without permission this year, compared to 1.59% last spring term.
This equates to almost 69,000 primary and secondary pupils in England missing classes without permission each day.
An increasing number of children are missing lessons because of family holidays taken during term time, the statistics show. Children missed around 1.4 million school days this spring due to holidays – a quarter of these days were not approved by teachers.
Overall absence fell to 5.92% of half days for the spring term, from 6.18% in the spring term of last year. This equates to 364,349 pupils off on a typical day this spring term, compared to 381,534 last spring term.
The schools minister, Nick Gibb, said the level of absenteeism in schools was “still too high”. “It’s crucial that children are not missing out on valuable lessons that could leave them vulnerable to falling behind. We are putting in place a series of measures to raise standards of behaviour, to put headteachers and teachers back in control of the classroom, and to ensure classrooms are safe and calm places where children can learn.”
Writer: Jessica Shepherd – Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk
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