Thousands of Kirklees pupils miss school every day

The number of fines over absentee pupils increased by 35%.
The number of fines over absentee pupils increased by 35%.

Thousands of pupils were missing from Kirklees’ schools every day last year, new figures show.

And the number of fines handed to parents for their children’s poor school attendance increased 35% compared to the previous year.

Department for Education (DofE) figures show that Kirklees’ state secondary school pupils missed 5.4% of their lesson time in the 2017-18 academic year.

Of those absences, more than a quarter were unauthorised, including truancy or for family holidays for which permission had not been granted.

And 13% of the 25,804 pupils enrolled in secondary schools were classed as persistently absent, meaning they missed 10% of their total learning time.

Kirklees’ state primary school pupils missed 4.2% of their lesson time on average, with more than a quarter of absences unauthorised. Among primary pupils, 9% were persistent absentees.

Absence rates increased slightly in secondary schools compared to 2016-17, when 5.1% of sessions were missed, and also increased slightly from 4% in primary schools.

In total, it means around 2,800 pupils were missing from schools in 2017-18.

A DofE spokesman said: “The education secretary has made clear, persistent absence from school is a society-wide challenge that we all need to work together to resolve – and while progress has been made, today’s data shows that has plateaued.”

Article by Joseph Hook.