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Class background 'has influence on absenteeism'

22/10/2010 Joanna
Class background has an influence on absenteeism, it has been claimed.

John Coe, general secretary of the National Association for Primary Education, said this can have a major impact on truancy rates.

"The well supported child of a graduate family who have been ambitious for that child from the moment they were born, they get behind the child," he explained.

According to figures from the Department for Education, the overall rate of absenteeism in primary schools was 5.34 per cent between autumn term 2009 and spring 2010, compared to the same period in the previous 12 months.

"There is an enormous class difference… This is why parental family support is absolutely overwhelmingly important for children. Schools can only do so much," Mr Coe commented.

He added that truancy is much more prevalent among secondary school children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds who are more likely to be interested in gangs, their peer groups and their friends than they are in being taught for an examination.

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