Thousands of Kirklees pupils miss school every day

Thousands of pupils were missing from Kirklees’ schools every day last year, new figures show.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 1:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 6:14 pm
The number of fines over absentee pupils increased by 35%.

And the number of fines handed to parents for their children’s poor school attendance increased 35% compared to the previous year.

Department for Education (DofE) figures show that Kirklees’ state secondary school pupils missed 5.4% of their lesson time in the 2017-18 academic year.

Of those absences, more than a quarter were unauthorised, including truancy or for family holidays for which permission had not been granted.

And 13% of the 25,804 pupils enrolled in secondary schools were classed as persistently absent, meaning they missed 10% of their total learning time.

Kirklees’ state primary school pupils missed 4.2% of their lesson time on average, with more than a quarter of absences unauthorised. Among primary pupils, 9% were persistent absentees.

Absence rates increased slightly in secondary schools compared to 2016-17, when 5.1% of sessions were missed, and also increased slightly from 4% in primary schools.

In total, it means around 2,800 pupils were missing from schools in 2017-18.

A DofE spokesman said: “The education secretary has made clear, persistent absence from school is a society-wide challenge that we all need to work together to resolve – and while progress has been made, today’s data shows that has plateaued.”

Article by Joseph Hook.