Schools see drop in persistent absenteeism

Posted on: Thursday 30 March 2023
#NotInMissOut tile

Children stood beneath a banner that says # Not In Miss Out

Primary and secondary schools in Torfaen have seen a reduction in the number of pupils classed as persistently absent.

There has been a 2.5 per cent drop in the number of pupils with attendance rates of below 80 per cent since December 2022.

Last month, councillors approved a new Torfaen Council Attendance Strategy, which re-enforces the authority's commitment to helping schools reduce absenteeism, particularly unauthorised absences.

An average of three per cent of absences in secondary schools and 1.4 per cent of absences in primary schools are classed as unauthorised, which means no reason has been given or the reason has been deemed unacceptable. 

According to the new strategy, extra support is being put in place in schools to help pupils struggling to readjust to normal education following the pandemic, and schools will be supported in decisions to issue Fixed Penalty Notices.  

The strategy also backs the council's #NotInMissOut campaign, which aims to promote regular attendance by celebrating the varied benefits of going to school. You can watch a promotional video produced with local school pupils here. You can also follow the campaign on social media by searching for #NotInMissOut.

One of those taking part in the campaign is Padre Pio Roman Catholic Primary School, in Pontypool.

Headteacher Paul Welsh said: "Regular attendance plays a vital part in enabling children to take advantage of the educational opportunities offered to them. Without it, the efforts of the best teachers in the best schools will come to nothing and the education process is undermined.

"Attendance is crucial to the continuity of learning experiences and hence effective learning. It is widely recognised that regular attendance at school is a key factor in raising children’s attainment and for improving their future life opportunities."

Councillor Richard Clark, Executive Member for Education, said: "I'm pleased to see the number of pupils with high levels of absenteeism has reduced, and that many schools are getting involved in the Not In Miss Out campaign, which celebrates the rich and diverse experiences our schools offer. 

"I am also delighted five schools have recently had excellent Estyn reports, which highlighted how nurturing and supportive they are."

Parents and carers in Wales are legally required to provide school-aged children with an education. Schools have a duty to contact the families of all pupils missing from school without a suitable reason.

For more information on attendance, visit our website

The council's Future Torfaen: A County Plan includes a commitment to raising educational attainment, helping young people and adults to gain the qualifications and skills needed to lead positive lives. For more information about the county plan, click here.

Last Modified: 15/05/2023 Back to top