NUT comment on new truancy figures

Commenting on today’s data on school absences, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union said:

“If children are not in school they are obviously not being taught and this is of course a problem. The effect of regular absenteeism from school on a pupil’s confidence and ability to understand what is being taught in the classroom is greatly affected.

“However, the hard truth is there is no one quick solution to solving this problem. Government needs to recognise that simply churning out yet more rhetoric about parents and schools needing to be more effective in tackling the problem will not work.

“There needs to be cross local authority service response and support in place for any real progress to be made in tackling the issue of truancy. At a time when local authority budgets are being cut the assistance that they could previously offer schools is being greatly scaled back. This is yet another example of the short-sightedness of the Government’s cuts agenda.

“A relevant and flexible curriculum, free from repetitive tests and targets, would go a long way to ensuring all our pupils remain engaged in the education process and that schools are places of creative, vibrant learning.”

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