Almost 10,000 children are regularly missing school in Cornwall


At least 10 thousand children in Cornwall were regularly missing school during the first two terms last year, new figures from the Department of Education have revealed.
The rate of students absent from school has increased over each of the last two years nationally following several years of general improvement.
National Education Union has blamed the figures on the “exam factory culture” in schools, saying it causes disengagement among pupils.
“The exam factory culture in our schools however is a significant contributing cause of children and young people’s mental health problems and disengagement in school life”, the union said.
The union has demanded for a curriculum that gives every child the education he deserves and makes education the fulfilling joyous experience it should be.
What do the figures show?
Figures released by the Department of Education show 16% of state secondary pupils in Cornwall were classed as persistently absent in the autumn 2017 and spring 2018 terms, which means they missed at least one in ten classes. 13% of pupils across the 266 state schools, including those in primary schools, were perpetually absent. Authorised absences, such as for medical appointments or illnesses, accounted for 81% of the total time off.
What is the response from the Department of Education?
The Department of Education says local councils can impose fines of £60 on parents who fail to ensure their children’s attendance at school, rising to £120 if not paid within 21 days.
According to the department, “The rules on term-time absences are clear and we have put schools back in control by supporting them–and local authorities–to use their powers to deal with unauthorised absence”.

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