Welsh Labour’s Education Minister Huw Lewis has welcomed the publication of statistics that show persistent school absence is at its lowest ever recorded level.
A new Welsh Government statistical release; “Absenteeism by pupil characteristics, 2015” reveals that just 1.4% of primary school pupils were recorded as persistent absentees in 2014-2015, down from 1.7% the previous year and down from 3.4% in 2008/09. Meanwhile, persistent secondary school absence has more than halved since 2008/09.
The statistics also show that absenteeism for pupils eligible for free school meals is at its lowest ever recorded level for both primary and secondary school pupils.
The Welsh Labour Government has introduced a number of measures in recent years to address school attendance, including for those pupils eligible for free school meals. The latest Pupil Deprivation Grant evaluation, published in December 2015 showed that teachers think the PDG is making a real difference and suggests that the consistent improvement in attendance seen in recent years can be attributed to the grant.
The Welsh Government’s Attendance Grant also supported education consortia to work within their authorities and schools to develop and embed effective practices to secure longer-term improvements in school attendance.
The latest figures can be found here.