NAHT: Absences fall as school leaders and parents join forces

The National Association of Head Teachers has welcomed the announcement of a fall in pupil absentee rates as a reflection of the hard work of schools and parents working together.

The key findings from the statistics on absence in primary, secondary and special schools, city technology colleges and academies during the 2010/11 school year show:

  • a decrease in the overall absence rate from 6.0 per cent in 2009/10 to 5.8 per cent in 2010/11, continuing the recent downward trend
  • a decrease in the authorised absence rate from 5.0 per cent to 4.7 per cent, continuing the recent downward trend
  • a decrease in the percentage of pupil enrolments classed as persistent absentees from 6.8 per cent in 2009/10 to 6.1 per cent in 2010/11, continuing the recent downward trend.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said: “These figures show how hard school leaders and parents have been working to tackle issues associated with non-attendance.

“The truth is that both parties are working very hard to do what is best for pupils and ultimately best for the future economy. The vast majority of parents recognise that their children will get the most from their education by turning up on time and staying in class. We will continue to work with families on related matters such as taking extended holidays in term-time.

“As with most educational issues, we get the best results when parents and teachers work together. The education system as a whole could improve dramatically in every area if only the government could learn from this and felt able to include itself as an agency of collaboration and support for schools rather than preferring to seize the opportunity to condemn, demoralise and write-off our schools, our children and their parents at every turn.”

The report is available on the DfE website.

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