Number of school classes missed in Bradford district is five times higher than national average

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Councillor Malcolm Sykes Councillor Malcolm Sykes

Unauthorised absences from school will be a major priority for Bradford Council in the coming year, as figures revealed that almost six per cent of the district’s school children miss at least 15 per cent of school.

New figures from the Department for Education reveal that over the 2012/13 academic year, 4,407 children in the district were classed as “persistent absentees” – around 5.8 per cent of all school age children.

In secondary schools the proportion is even higher – 8.2 per cent.

Overall 5.6 per cent of school sessions were missed by children being off school – the highest figure of any West Yorkshire authority. Of those, 3.9 per cent were authorised absences but 1.7 per cent were not sanctioned by the school. The national average for unauthorised absence was just one per cent.

A harder line has been taken towards truancy and unauthorised absence in the past year, with more penalty notices issued to parents in Bradford who took their children out of school without a good excuse.

The DfE’s figures show that in the 2012/13 academic year, primary attendance fell from 95.3 per cent to 95.1 per cent, the first year-on-year drop in four years, while secondary attendance fell from 93.5 per cent to 93.3 per cent – the first drop in seven years.

Coun Malcolm Sykes is chairman of the Children’s Services Scrutiny Committee, which he says will look into the make-up of persistent absenteeism. He added: “We need to look into the figures and see how much of it is down to illness and how much is children not going to school.

“It is the kids who are not in school that are missing out, but it can affect how a school does in its Ofsted inspections.”

On the increase in fines for parents of children off without permission, he added: “If it makes a difference and pressurises parents to make sure their kids are in school then its good, but it is only a deterrent if we let people know about it. If we publicise how many parents have been fined on a regular basis it will make parents much more aware.”

Coun Ralph Berry, executive for children’s services on the council, said it was an unwillingness on the council’s part to let unauthorised absences slide that led to the figures rising. He added: “We have to make sure we take a rigorous approach to absence and the consequence to taking a tough line is you sometimes get a report with these types of figures. This is a serious issue that needs to be tackled.

“At times schools try and make figures look good and could turn a blind eye to absences, but it is not about that, it is about accurately recording absences.”

Comments (10)

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9:20am Tue 1 Apr 14

alive and awake says...

What has the photo of the boarding up houses got to do with this?

I would like to ask, how many of these children go to school in a free taxi, and do WE still have to pay if they are a no show?
What has the photo of the boarding up houses got to do with this? I would like to ask, how many of these children go to school in a free taxi, and do WE still have to pay if they are a no show? alive and awake
  • Score: 13

9:40am Tue 1 Apr 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Coun Ralph Berry, executive for children’s services on the council, said it was an unwillingness on the council’s part to let unauthorised absences slide that led to the figures rising. He added: “We have to make sure we take a rigorous approach to absence and the consequence to taking a tough line is you sometimes get a report with these types of figures. This is a serious issue that needs to be tackled.

All this from a man who was marching with Teachers meaning everyone's children were off school last Wednesday.
Coun Ralph Berry, executive for children’s services on the council, said it was an unwillingness on the council’s part to let unauthorised absences slide that led to the figures rising. He added: “We have to make sure we take a rigorous approach to absence and the consequence to taking a tough line is you sometimes get a report with these types of figures. This is a serious issue that needs to be tackled. All this from a man who was marching with Teachers meaning everyone's children were off school last Wednesday. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 14

9:42am Tue 1 Apr 14

Andy2010 says...

Thee Voice of Reason wrote:
Coun Ralph Berry, executive for children’s services on the council, said it was an unwillingness on the council’s part to let unauthorised absences slide that led to the figures rising. He added: “We have to make sure we take a rigorous approach to absence and the consequence to taking a tough line is you sometimes get a report with these types of figures. This is a serious issue that needs to be tackled.

All this from a man who was marching with Teachers meaning everyone's children were off school last Wednesday.
That was my exact first thought.
[quote][p][bold]Thee Voice of Reason[/bold] wrote: Coun Ralph Berry, executive for children’s services on the council, said it was an unwillingness on the council’s part to let unauthorised absences slide that led to the figures rising. He added: “We have to make sure we take a rigorous approach to absence and the consequence to taking a tough line is you sometimes get a report with these types of figures. This is a serious issue that needs to be tackled. All this from a man who was marching with Teachers meaning everyone's children were off school last Wednesday.[/p][/quote]That was my exact first thought. Andy2010
  • Score: 11

9:51am Tue 1 Apr 14

collos25 says...

The council having been saying this for over 60 years to my knowledge and I bet the figure in percentage terms is not a lot different, it also makes councillors think they are doing something for their money by spouting rubbish to a newspaper..
The council having been saying this for over 60 years to my knowledge and I bet the figure in percentage terms is not a lot different, it also makes councillors think they are doing something for their money by spouting rubbish to a newspaper.. collos25
  • Score: -2

10:42am Tue 1 Apr 14

Albion. says...

This reflects the lack of commitment, punctuality and sense of duty that is prevalent in modern day society. Another sad things is if they DO attend they have to contend with ineffective teaching, mainly down to the absence of discipline.
This reflects the lack of commitment, punctuality and sense of duty that is prevalent in modern day society. Another sad things is if they DO attend they have to contend with ineffective teaching, mainly down to the absence of discipline. Albion.
  • Score: 4

12:36pm Tue 1 Apr 14

alive and awake says...

collos25 wrote:
The council having been saying this for over 60 years to my knowledge and I bet the figure in percentage terms is not a lot different, it also makes councillors think they are doing something for their money by spouting rubbish to a newspaper..
Your right , as for Councillors spouting rubbish, I agree again, but most of them don't even do that they are totally absent.

Of subject:
The report of a man on a roof in Wibsey is the laziest piece of reporting for a long while. my info tells me'
*It was not Wibsey, it was Horton Bank Top
*It was not Bargain Booze (wherever that is) It was the roof of the Gents Hairdressers.
*No mention of the manpower involved and cost.
2 fire engines
1 ambulance
3 ambulance response units
4 police vehicles
and all the accompanying personnel probably 18+
Now I think that is more of a story.
Lazy reporting.
[quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: The council having been saying this for over 60 years to my knowledge and I bet the figure in percentage terms is not a lot different, it also makes councillors think they are doing something for their money by spouting rubbish to a newspaper..[/p][/quote]Your right , as for Councillors spouting rubbish, I agree again, but most of them don't even do that they are totally absent. Of subject: The report of a man on a roof in Wibsey is the laziest piece of reporting for a long while. my info tells me' *It was not Wibsey, it was Horton Bank Top *It was not Bargain Booze (wherever that is) It was the roof of the Gents Hairdressers. *No mention of the manpower involved and cost. 2 fire engines 1 ambulance 3 ambulance response units 4 police vehicles and all the accompanying personnel probably 18+ Now I think that is more of a story. Lazy reporting. alive and awake
  • Score: 3

3:47pm Tue 1 Apr 14

johnh1 says...

The ones in school spend most of the time in the toilet on the phone.
Come in late spend time with there boyfriends/girlfrien
ds
waste of time and money glorified youth clubs.
The ones in school spend most of the time in the toilet on the phone. Come in late spend time with there boyfriends/girlfrien ds waste of time and money glorified youth clubs. johnh1
  • Score: 2

4:48pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Apollo says...

It is a problem that will never be tackled in Bradford as many of the long term absences are related to family visits back to the sub-continent.

As such someone would play the race card at that point.
It is a problem that will never be tackled in Bradford as many of the long term absences are related to family visits back to the sub-continent. As such someone would play the race card at that point. Apollo
  • Score: 4

5:44pm Tue 1 Apr 14

The Hoffster says...

Apollo wrote:
It is a problem that will never be tackled in Bradford as many of the long term absences are related to family visits back to the sub-continent.

As such someone would play the race card at that point.
Be quiet, Islamophobe.

And no mention of the school's involved ?

What are the chances they're in vile BNP/EDL hell-holes?
[quote][p][bold]Apollo[/bold] wrote: It is a problem that will never be tackled in Bradford as many of the long term absences are related to family visits back to the sub-continent. As such someone would play the race card at that point.[/p][/quote]Be quiet, Islamophobe. And no mention of the school's involved ? What are the chances they're in vile BNP/EDL hell-holes? The Hoffster
  • Score: -7

6:56pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Ratters Rat says...

Dear Bradford Council
As a parent I send my children to school everyday. So imagine how I felt last week when my children's teachers went on strike since I had no holidays left I had to take unpaid leave to look after them.
Did the council address this No.
Therefore will the council address this issue before threatening parents with fines.
Dear Bradford Council As a parent I send my children to school everyday. So imagine how I felt last week when my children's teachers went on strike since I had no holidays left I had to take unpaid leave to look after them. Did the council address this No. Therefore will the council address this issue before threatening parents with fines. Ratters Rat
  • Score: 4

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