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Truancy rates fall across Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:12 26 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:57 16 September 2010

School attendance in Norfolk is improving, according to new figures which show drops in overall, authorised and unauthorised absence in the county's primary and secondary schools.

School attendance in Norfolk is improving, according to new figures which show drops 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 - which education bosses said highlight the link between regular attendance and attainment.

Figures for the spring term show overall absence in primary school fell from 5.21pc in 2009 to 5.08pc in 2010 (0.13 percentage points). Nationally overall absence fell from 5.28pc to 5.22pc (0.6 percentage points).

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.

Reducing absence has been a priority for the county council and a range of measures are in place to tackle attendance issues, including support for parents and truancy sweeps.

The council also pursued 406 prosecutions relating to non-attendance, compared to 267 the previous year.

Alison Thomas, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children's services, said: “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.

“It is encouraging to see that we are making progress and that levels of attendance are moving in the right direction.

“However, reducing absence remains a commitment and we must keep working hard to ensure our absence levels fall below the national average and keep falling.

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