AN ACTION plan to try and improve school attendance in Burnley is being put together by education bosses.

The Burnley Children’s Trust Partnership, which features representatives from Lancashire County Council and Burnley Borough Council, as well as education professionals, is looking at ways to reduce the number of youngsters missing lessons.

Options being looked at include working more closely with police and encouraging GPs to hold appointments for children after 4pm.

Absence levels fell in the borough last year but they remain higher than the national and county averages.

Frances Molloy, school attendance lead for the county council, said: “The levels are falling at a greater rate than national and county levels, so it is going in the right direction, but improvements can still be made.

“The Children’s Trust is trying to highlight why attendance is important and the impact it has on attainment.”

The most recent attendance figures for the autumn and spring terms last year showed an absence figure of 7.52 per cent for secondary school students in Burnley, compared to 6.52 per cent for the rest of Lancashire and 6.76 per cent for England.

In primary schools the level was 5.76 per cent, compared to 5.02 per cent for Lancashire and England.

Elaine Dawson, head teacher at Sir John Thursby Community College, who sits on the Children’s Trust board, said: “The Children’s Trust are trying to look at practical solutions, so we’ve held workshops where people have talked about their ideas and what can be done.

“Lots of positives have come out of it and we will continue to talk about how it can be improved.”