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Drop in absence across Norfolk schools

PUBLISHED: 16:35 25 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:57 16 September 2010

IMPROVEMENTS in school attendance are being celebrated around Norfolk today after a drop in overall, authorised and unauthorised absence in the county's primary and secondary schools.

IMPROVEMENTS in school attendance are being celebrated around Norfolk today after a drop in overall, authorised and unauthorised absence in the county's primary and secondary schools.

The figures come as Norfolk County Council celebrates record GCSE results, and the county has recorded bigger drops in overall absence than those seen nationally.

Figures for the spring term show overall absence in primary school fell from 5.21pc in 2009 to 5.08pc in 2010. Nationally overall absence fell just over half a percent to 5.22 pc.

In secondary schools Norfolk recorded a drop of 0.73 percentage points from 7.65 in 2009 to 6.92 in 2010. Nationally attendance dropped by 0.5 percentage points from 7.15 to 6.65pc.

Authorised absence in Norfolk's primary schools dropped from 4.67pc in 2009 to 4.56pc in 2010 and in secondary schools it fell from 6.01pc to 5.33pc. Unauthorised absence fell from 0.54pc to 0.53pc in primary schools and 1.65pc to 1.59pc in secondary schools.

Some of measures taken by the county council to tackle attendance issues include truancy sweeps and a project gives parents time to improve their child's attendance or face prosecution.

The council has taken 406 prosecutions relating to non-attendance in the last academic year, compared to 267 the previous year.

Alison Thomas, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children's services: "We know that there is a link between regular attendance and achievement and it is no coincidence that we are seeing improvements at GCSE at the same time we are celebrating improvements in attendance.

"We are ambitious for all of Norfolk's young people and want them to have high aspirations and levels of achievement.

“To succeed those who are registered at school need to attend regularly and together with parents, teachers and the wider community, we need young people to recognise the value of education.”

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