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RIGOROUS EXAMINATION OF TRUANCY BY INSPECTORS ANNOUNCED

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Levels of truancy will be rigorously examined by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) when they inspect s...
Levels of truancy will be rigorously examined by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) when they inspect schools Education Secretary John Patten announced today.

Speaking in Nottingham he also announced that from this Autumn attendance data for maintained primary and secondary schools will be published in a single, national table.

This will give truancy information for each local education area. In addition secondary school data will be published in the comparative school performance tables. These will show for each school the percentage of pupils missing one or more sessions.

Mr Patten said: `There is too much truancy from our schools. This undermines our educational system. It means that some schools are turning a blind eye, and some parents are not fulfilling their side of the bargain by meeting their legal obligation to see that their child attends school.

'Since then, I have allocated nearly 10 million to support LEAs in developing innovative schemes to tackle truancy in our schools.

'Over 70 authorities are developing different approaches - to registration, reporting, motivating pupils and understanding the problem - helped by this substantial DFE funding.

'I expect to be able to assess the results of these schemes in 1994 - to determine what have been the best and most effective methods of countering truancy.

'I am going to produce, as the Parents' Charter rightly commits the Government to do, the first ever comprehensive truancy information for parents.

'The contractors report that completed returns have been received from 86% of LEA-maintained schools and 89% of non-LEA schools. The process of validation and data logging is well under way and missing returns are being actively pursued.

'Truancy data will appear in the school-by-school performance tables to be published for the secondary phase but wehave decided to publish one rather than two percentages, namely the percentage of pupils missing one or more sessions without authorisation.

Information on the number of sessions missed in secondary schools will be carried forward into new national truancy tables which we will be publishing for both the primary and secondary sectors.

These tables - the first of their kind - will give maintained school data - LEA-maintained schools and GM schools - by LEA area and will show: the percentage of pupils absent at least once without authorisation; the average number of sessions missed by pupils absent without authorisation; and pupil sessions missed without authorisation per 1,000 sessions.

We will also be adding - for purposes of comparison - national aggregates for each sector: LEA, GM, CTC, independent (including independent special), maintained special schools and non-maintained special schools. Thus providing at a glance comparative statistics on the scale of unauthorised absence in different categories of school.

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