Initiatives help to cut truancy rates

By Emily Pearce

Saturday, December 7, 2013

 

Initiatives help to cut truancy rates

Isle of Wight councillor Paul Fuller.

EFFORTS to reduce school absence and truancy rates on the Isle of Wight, currently the worst in the country, have already had an impact.

Attendance during the first three months of the current academic year had improved by two per cent, compared with the same period last year, Isle of Wight Council education officer Jackie Boxx told a meeting of the authority’s children and young people scrutiny panel.

She admitted a report on absence rates, presented to the panel, made 'very bleak reading’ but said steps had been taken to analyse the reasons for non-attendance and implement a series of measures to tackle them.

They include establishing a steering group comprising headteachers and council officers to monitor absence rates and hold schools to account, helping schools identify patterns of non-attendance and intervene earlier, reducing illness absence and rewarding good attendance.

Cllr Paul Fuller said he wanted to see results: "I want to hear we will not be 150th out of 150 local authorities next year. It’s a real concern. I don’t want to have to justify to my community why we are doing such a rotten job."

The panel discussed establishing a task and finish group to quiz secondary school leaders on their attainment and attendance figures.

Officers suggested establishing an advisory panel, which would meet in private, and panel chairman Cllr John Howe agreed school bosses might be more forthcoming if the press were excluded, but Cllr Chris Whitehouse said the panel’s role was to challenge schools in public.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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by alan naylor

8th December 2013, at 15:12:36

David is quite right most island children come from layed back familiys who are satified with their island life that is left for freshwater and right for ryde atendances should not be compared by national results the childen and parents have a completly different outlook on life and the country

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by William Sykes

8th December 2013, at 11:34:03

It makes you realise how bad things are when they talk about ' rewarding good attendance '.. Surely the reward for good attendance should be a good education. If it's not, then the education system needs sorting.

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by David Shoulder

8th December 2013, at 08:33:10

The reality is the Island has too many parents whose parents never understoodv a good education is important. Consequently we have generation followed by generation of parents who do not support schools properly in the drive to achieve a brighter future for young people. So many families will little or no prospects. Cannon fodder for low pay and a benefits lifestyle. A shocking waste. People in third world and emerging nations understand education is the key and as such value any opportunity they get. They do not squander it like so many do here.

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by JP HARPER

7th December 2013, at 23:22:51

I can understand why this happens as in my opinion alot of what is ''teached'' in schools these days is mostly not needed .
I found school very uninteresting for various reasons
Anway i have learnt more since leaving school than i did in the 5 years or whatever it was in secondry school - I almost got the lowest grades for everything in gcse's but since leaving school around 4yrs ago i taught myself loads and looking back now i was a major underachiver ... If i could turn back time the outcome of school for me would of been alot diffrient

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by Karen Twine

7th December 2013, at 21:31:48

mmmm.. how is a child's attendance measured ?? once a day? twice a day?...for example say a child has an early dental appointment and are out for an hour at the start of the school day..they miss morning registration .that means the child is registered as not in the whole morning ( or the whole day if the register is once in the morning)..is attendance being measured accurately ? and yes dental appointments , hospital appointments etc...should be in made in school holidays and that's another matter :O)

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by alan naylor

7th December 2013, at 19:42:39

Living on the island is like living in a bubble who on the island wants to be educated and know about anything in this wide wide world outside most think its not going to affect your life and standard off living anyway with your mile wide crossing and please d ont make exuses about the numbers there correct just as correct as the suiside numbers which are the highest in the uk The news is not that he jumped off the bridge but why no prizes for guessing

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by C Ryan-Sammon

7th December 2013, at 18:58:02

I would support both Russell & Roe I believe that the truancy figures come from all the times when children are maybe wearing the wrong shoes to school so they get shoved in a hall as punishment, therefore they are not in the class they should be when they do a head count or whatever it is now, they also get marked absent if they are a few minutes late , even through no fault of their own, I say sort that nonsense and the figures will drop. I will also say I know a lot of very studious young people and young teens who actually love school, so would miss a treat rather than miss a day at school. Basically do not believe everything reported in the mainstream media ;) (In my opinion)

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by Russell Palin

7th December 2013, at 17:46:01

When I was a lad I was scared of school because of the bullies. I only went for about 25% of the time in total.
For instance, I was battered senseless on my very first day at school by some kids with a cricket bat. 7th January 1970 I remember that experience every single day still. Needless to say I was thrown out of school at 14 because I had enough of bullying and turned "hard man" battered bullies, ate them for breakfast.....
Stop children bullying others and the problem will not be as bad. It wrecked my education.

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by Roe driver

7th December 2013, at 17:23:13

in the early 80,s as a 13 year old boy if I rode my bike to the next village and worked all week in the haulage yard I could earn £25 a week
if I went to school to learn subjects like algebra the past tense of french or how to disect frogs
all essential life skills skills as the teachers would have us believe
I would have nothing in my pocket at the end of the week
I firmly believe that some youngsters would benefit from taking the same route

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by Jake Wallace

7th December 2013, at 13:41:41

I think it's a case of the bad ones getting badder & the good ones getting better. Makes the divide look so much worse.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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