Primary school truancies rise as budget holidays become popular

by Tiffany Millar on August 26, 2010

According to new figures, in just two years since budget holidays have been on the rise, the numbers of truancies from school have soared as well.

Officials believe that the truancy rise directly correlates to the increase in cheap holidays being offered during term time. About 24,200 students under 11 were recorded missing from class each day during this last spring term with many of those absences being attributed to unauthorised family holidays. The Department of Education released figures that show that 0.74 per cent of class time had been lost because of unnecessary truancies from January to April 2010. This is in comparison to just 0.56 per cent back in 2008.

The increase is being largely attributed to parents removing their younger kids during school times in order to take advantage of discount deals being offered during the recession. The Schools Minister, Nick Gibb said that secondary schools had seen a drop in truancy rates, however he insisted that truancy levels overall were still much too high. Mr Gibb added that it was vital for children to not miss school and be present for the valuable lessons, which missing, he added could put them at risk of falling behind their peers.

He also said that the government was looking to put in place a series of measures that would increase expectations on behaviour from students and place headteachers back into control over their classrooms. He also said the new regulations would ensure safer and calmer classroom environments. At least 69,000 primary and secondary school students in England missed classes without prior approval due to truancy, illness or family holidays. The greatest increases in absences was seen in primary school students.

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