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Number of truant Bradford pupils falls again
The number of school pupils taking time off school has fallen again in Bradford, the latest statistics have revealed.
Figures published by the Department for Education yesterday show progress has continued to be made for the second year following two years of stalemate.
This year the Department for Education altered its definitions of children who were persistently absent from those with less than 80 per cent attendance to those with less than 85 per cent.
Under the old definition, the number of those who were persistently absent fell from 3.2 per cent in 2009/10 to 3.1 per cent in 2010/11.
Using the new definition however, the number of children who were persistently absent stood at 7.4 per cent – above the national average of 6.1 per cent and the Yorkshire and the Humber average of 6.8 per cent.
George McQueen, Bradford Council’s assistant director access and inclusion, said: “Schools and the Council are supporting families where school attendance is a difficulty.
“The Council is working with schools continually to encourage pupils to attend, learn and achieve.”
Overall absence this year however has been recorded as 6.4 per cent, compared to last year’s 6.49, although figures this year have been rounded to the nearest tenth.
While overall primary school absences fell in the district from 5.7 per cent to 5.5 per cent, Bradford remained above the national average for overall absence, which stood at 5.8 per cent, and the Yorkshire and the Humber average of 6.1 per cent. York had a rate of 5.1 per cent.
The statistics show while Bradford remains under the regional average of authorised absence, at 4.8 per cent, and level with the national average of 4.7, the district’s unauthorised average, 1.7 per cent, remained above the national average of 1.1 per cent and regional average of 1.3 per cent.
Commenting on the national figures, Schools Minister Nick Gibb welcomed the downward trend in absence but remained concerned about the impact of persistent absence on children’s attainment.
He said: “A hard core of almost 400,000 pupils still missed at least a month of school. We should not underestimate the impact of this on their future prospects.”