Present and correct!

PUBLISHED: 13:09 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 14:50 12 May 2010

The statistics are worrying

The statistics are worrying

SCHOOLchildren in Crow country are enthusiastic learners and unlikely to play truant. In Hertfordshire, truancy is below the national average. Only 0.35 per cent of primary school children and 0.77 per cent of secondary school children played truant in

SCHOOLchildren in Crow country are enthusiastic learners and unlikely to play truant.

In Hertfordshire, truancy is below the national average.

Only 0.35 per cent of primary school children and 0.77 per cent of secondary school children played truant in 2005-06.

The overall national average was 0.79 per cent.

Schools in Royston, Buntingford, and surrounding areas report that truancy is virtually non-existent because pupils enjoy going to school.

A spokeswoman for Greneway School in Royston said: "There is absolutely no problem with truancy at the school.

"We have a very thorough checking process. If pupils are absent, we can find out pretty quickly whether they are legitimately off school.

"Parents must phone in before 10am to confirm their child's absence, and this is a successful way of keeping check. We also follow up every call.

"The school has a strong relationship with the parents and the children love coming to the school."

Helen Loughran, head teacher of Freman College, Buntingford, believes that supportive parents and strict procedures are the key to low unauthorised absences.

She said: "Truancy here is virtually non-existent.

"We have tight procedures and students are well motivated and enjoy being here. They know we run a tight ship.

"Parents are also supportive and value their children's education, and want them to do well.

"As a result there is a good correlation between attendance and exam results."

Robert Dunbar, deputy head teacher of St Mary's Primary School in Royston, said: "Children are keen to come to school and we have strong support from parents.

"As a result we have 0 per cent of unauthorised absences."

Jenny Heinzelman, head teacher of Barkway Primary School, said: "Unauthorised absences do occur occasionally, but only because people don't inform us of pupil absences.

"The reason why truancy is so low or virtually non-existent is because we do apply the rules strictly.

"We have good relationships with parents and children enjoy being here.

"However, there's always room for improvement, so we keep a close eye on things to make sure that parents know what the procedure is."

Dr Michael Firth, head teacher at The Meridian School, Royston, said: "In the last academic year truancy figures have been extremely low - 0.1 per cent.

"So this is clearly a small issue, and only an occasional problem.

"I think one of the key reasons behind this is the fact that good practice is embedded in the students before they come to the school.

"The middle schools have good systems in place.

"We also have a good system which is easy to correspond with parents and we also do random lesson checks."

TRUANCY FACTFILE

- More than 7,000 parents are prosecuted nationwide each year because of their children's truancy.

- Persistent truancy can result in fines of up to £2,500 for parents or guardians, or a prison sentence.

- Research has found that truants are more than three times more likely to offend than non-truants and that 5 per cent of all offences are committed by children during school hours.

- A third of all prison inmates had been regular truants at school.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Royston Crow. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Royston Crow