Wales celebrates fall in truancy after government drive

The number of secondary school pupils regularly playing truant in Wales has more than halved in recent years.
Education minister Huw Lewis has welcomed the publication of statistics that show persistent school absence is at its lowest ever recorded level.

The Welsh government’s new figures found that just 1.4 per cent of primary school pupils were recorded as persistent absentees in 2014/15, down from 1.7 per cent the previous year and down from 3.4 per cent in 2008/09. Meanwhile, persistent secondary school absence has more than halved since 2008/09.

The statistics also show that absenteeism for pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) is at its lowest ever recorded level for both primary and secondary school pupils.

The progress comes after the Welsh government made tackling poor attendance figures – especially among FSM children – one of its priorities. One tactic was placing banners on school gates to encourage parents to strive
for 100 per cent attendance for their children.

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