THE headteacher of Darwen Vale High School said attendance for the winter term ending in December had been above the national average for the ‘first time in years’.

In her weekly report to parents, Mrs Fiona Jack said: “Attendance was something that Ofsted criticised us for and said we needed to improve. We have been working really hard on this because we know that attendance has a direct link to how well pupils do at school.

“It is credit to everyone’s hard work that we ended the term with attendance running at 95.6 per cent.

“Our attendance last year was only 92.4 per cent so this is an important improvement which puts us above the national average for the first time in many years.

“Obviously we are going to keep good attendance as a priority.”