Truancy is a significant problem in British schools with a growing number of pupils partially attending or completely missing lessons at a vital stage of their educational development.
This widespread issue was brought into greater scrutiny when recent reports suggested that truancy levels are rising and capable of ‘holding back’ the performance of UK schools at junior and comprehensive level.
At a time when parents, teachers and students are getting ready for the big ‘back to school’ rush and the start of the new academic year, we look at just a few of the reasons that unexcused absence from school is harmful for children, parents and educational administrators.
The primary issue caused by truancy is the inconsistent access a pupil has to statutory learning, resulting in stunted educational progression. This often results in students falling behind in class, struggling to cover the core syllabus and ultimately failing to achieve adequate qualifications through nationalised examinations at Key Stage 3 and GCSE level.
A largely overlooked issue associated with truancy is the safety of pupils who are not turning up for school. Students who are absent from lessons are often unattended or alone for the length of the working day, be it at home or in public. The absence of adult supervision means that youngsters missing school are more vulnerable to safety and safeguarding issues.
As the government attempts to lower the alarming rate of truancy, parents and guardians are being put under increased financial pressure to make sure their children are in attendance. This includes fines for parents whose children are persistently absent from school and can even lead to benefit payments being sanctioned.
Demands on administration
For schools and other educational facilities, the administrative burden of chasing and reporting pupil absence is not only expensive but bares a considerable drain on resources. This includes the time taken to inform and liaise with parents and to assist external bodies such as family services and educational authorities.
Find out more
The Contact Group’s specialised Truancy Call service can reduce unauthorised absence, improve punctuality and reduce the administrative time used up by chasing pupil absence.
Our state-of-the-art Truancy Call technology pulls the data for all absent and late pupils, and will send an automated phone call, text message or email to parents to alert them of potential issues.
To find out more about how our range e