Good report for county’s school attendance

School attendance in Derbyshire is above the national average and improving according to figures released today.

The Department for Education has released figures showing primary school total absence for the county for 2010/2011 is 4.8 per cent per cent compared to the national average of five per cent.

Secondary school total absence is down for the sixth year running at 6.3 per cent compared to the national figure of 6.5 per cent.

Attendance in Derbyshire is better than similar neighbouring counties, which have an average of 4.94 per cent total absence for primary and 6.48 per cent for secondary.

Cllr Mike Longden, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “We’re delighted that attendance figures for pupils in the county are once again above the national average and similar neighbouring counties.

“There is a very strong link between attendance and attainment which is why we work closely with schools to make sure students don’t miss classes and parents and pupils understand how importance regular attendance is.”

Total absences in Derbyshire’s secondary schools have consistently dropped over the last six years from 7.73 per cent in 2005/2006 to the current figure.

Total absence in primary schools fell last year following a rise of 0.03 per cent in 2009/2010 in line with the national picture

Cllr Longden said: “Improving attendance is a high priority for us and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure county children enjoy the benefits of the best education we can offer.”

A number of projects operate in Derbyshire to tackle unauthorised absences in primary and secondary schools. These include a fast-track prosecution programme and fixed penalty notices.