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Schools 'should be stricter on pupils skipping lessons'

26/10/2009 Joanna
An education lobby group has called on teachers to deploy stricter sanctions against pupils taking unauthorised absences.

Nick Seaton, chair of the Campaign for Real Education, described recent government figures revealing a rise in numbers of absentees as "shocking".

The Department for Children, Schools and Families statistics show that overall absence in primary schools for the first two terms of the 2008/09 school year, stood at 5.46 per cent, compared to 5.35 per cent in autumn 2007 and spring 2008.

Commenting on the figures, Mr Seaton said: "Government ministers, schools, teachers and parents all need to be cutting down on this very seriously."

He added that missing just a few days of school can be a "huge disadvantage" for youngsters and advised schools to "take advantage of all the sanctions they have".

Written by Alan Douglas
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