Pupil attendance in Kirklees among best in Yorkshire

Wide range of work carried out to prevent unauthorised absence

Children with hands up in school classroom
Figures show show that overall absence in Kirklees primary, secondary and special schools was 5%, compared with 5.3% nationally and 5.4% regionally

New figures show that pupil attendance in Kirklees schools is among the best in Yorkshire and Humber.

Attendance rates are higher than the national average across all age groups, with Kirklees secondary schools achieving the best data of all 15 local authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The partnership between Kirklees Council and local schools ensures that a wide range of work is carried out to prevent unauthorised absence of pupils.

The new figures cover 2012/13 and were released by the Department for Education. They show that overall absence in Kirklees primary, secondary and special schools was 5%, compared with 5.3% nationally and 5.4% regionally.

Clr Cath Harris, Cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “This highlights our ongoing commitment to tackling the issue of unauthorised absence.

“Pupils and families are increasingly aware that school attendance is vitally important. There are major disadvantages in being absent from school as it can harm educational attainment and damage future opportunities.

“Clearly there are times when children and young people can be away from school with good reason, such as illness.

“However, schools use a whole raft of steps to tackle absence, such as first day calling, letters home, meetings with parents and parental contracts. We provide support to families and, where necessary, we will prosecute parents who don’t co-operate with either the school or the council.

“This work is important, both to the council and local schools, and it reflects our priority of enhancing life chances for young people.

“Working with our schools, we have prioritised ways to reduce absence. It’s pleasing that the Kirklees figures are better than the national average, but we won’t lose our focus on this.”

Data released by Ofsted last year showed that children and young people in Kirklees are the joint-most likely in West Yorkshire to attend a good or outstanding secondary school.

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