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Fewer Lancashire school children skipping classes
MORE than 3,500 schools days have been missed by children in Lancashire during a school term, new figures show.
The Department for Education released absence rates for the autumn term 2011 which show that on 482 of those days, school children had played truant.
But the numbers who had been off school without permission had dropped by 209 days compared to the autumn term in 2010.
Overall absences were down by 1,260 days as children had missed school for 4,765 days in a single term in 2010.
Education bosses said that it was ‘very’ encouraging that more children had been attending school.
But they said that steps were being carried out to ensure all youngsters attend school.
The work includes working with parents, handing out penalty notices and providing help and support for children.
Coun Maureen Bateson, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive member for children’s services, said: “This improvement in overall school attendance and the drop in truancy in the borough is very encouraging.
“This shows students in Blackburn with Darwen have a real commitment to learning and know regular attendance at school is the key to this.
"However, we also take appropriate steps when parents do not make sure their children have good attendance at school.
“These include our education welfare officers working with the schools to provide support and advice, referrals for students who are persistent absentees and penalty notices for parents whose children regularly have unauthorised absences.
“We will continue to work with schools’, young people and their families.”
Lancashire County Coun Susie Charles, cabinet member for children and schools said: "While we're never complacent over the number of children absent from school, I am pleased that Lancashire's school absence figures remain lower than the national and regional average in all categories and compare very favourably with similar local authorities across England.
"The county's secondary schools, overall absence is also continuing to improve in Lancashire.
"The same pattern can be seen with pupils who are considered to be persistently absent, as the number of pupils falling into this category continues to be better than average in both our primary and secondary schools.”
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