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
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.