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Education Welfare Officers (EWOs) from Manchester City Council have been ...
Education Welfare Officers (EWOs) from Manchester City Council have been

patrolling the streets over the last few days with police officers from

Greater Manchester Police, stopping and questioning young people of school

age who they believe may be skipping school.

The two day truancy sweep in Chorlton - which took place on Friday 13

September and today Tuesday 17 September - was the first sweep of the new

school year. During a sweep EWOs and uniformed police officers patrol an

agreed area of the city during school hours and question any young person

of school age who is found on the streets.

During this latest sweep a total of 73 young people were stopped. This

figure included 17 primary school children and 56 secondary school pupils.

Of the total stopped, 31 young people, or 42%, were accompanied by adults.

Apart from sending a direct message to pupils that playing truant is wrong,

education officials also want to reach those parents in the city who

condone their children's absence from school.

Councillor Bernard Stone, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for

Education, said: 'Manchester was one of the first local authorities to

conduct truancy sweeps when legislation came in, and we have continued to

do so regularly since then.

'What is obvious however is that parents are still condoning their child's

absence from school and this is just not acceptable. Parents have a legal

duty to ensure their children are in school every day school is open.

Parents who persistently fail to do this will be pursued by us and may face

prosecution for their actions.'

David Johnston, Manchester City Council's Chief Education Officer, added:

'We are working hard to further raise achievement and standards in all our

schools, but pupils need to be in school to benefit from this. They need

to understand that if they keep on missing days from school they are

jeopardising their chances of future success - not just in school and in

exams, but also in whatever job or career path they decide to follow.'

More truancy sweeps are planned in the coming weeks across other parts of

the city.


Manchester City Council has led the way during the last couple of years in

conducting truancy sweeps and in the last city wide sweeps that took place

in May this year 344 young people in total were stopped by officers and the

police. Figures show that 44% of those stopped were with adults.

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