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Let’s get Sheffield truants back to school

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Powell / Rex Features
Model released - teenagers wearing hoodies
VARIOUS

TEENAGER TEENAGE BOY BOYS CHILD CHILDREN HOODY CHAV CHAVS GANG INTIMIDATING TRUANT TRUANTS TRUANCY FRIEND FRIENDS HOOD HOODS HOODED TOP TOPS

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Powell / Rex Features Model released - teenagers wearing hoodies VARIOUS TEENAGER TEENAGE BOY BOYS CHILD CHILDREN HOODY CHAV CHAVS GANG INTIMIDATING TRUANT TRUANTS TRUANCY FRIEND FRIENDS HOOD HOODS HOODED TOP TOPS

SHEFFIElD Council is to launch a new crackdown on truancy across the city.

The strategy is aimed at improving attendance at nurseries, schools, academies and colleges.

The city is falling behind the national average when it comes to attendance rates.

According to latest Government figures, 4,850 Sheffield pupils each missed the equivalent of a whole month of lessons during the 2010/11 school year.

Nationally, 400,000 pupils miss 15 per cent of school every academic year.

The council said in recent years there had been a move towards schools taking more responsibility for improving their own attendance figures.

Under the new strategy – due to be discussed by the council’s cabinet next week – the council’s Multi Agency Support Team will be responsible for the most vulnerable youngsters’ attendance, including that of children in care and young carers.

Schools will be encouraged to take responsibility for low level attendance issues before contacting the Multi Agency Support Team for its support.

In families where there is a truanting problem, social care staff and other partner organisations will take a ‘whole family’ approach to the problem.

The attendance of children in care will be made a priority, along with those at special schools and inclusion centres.

In April last year The Star revealed plans which would see parents fined up to £60 if they let their children miss school – a sum which would double to £120 if not paid within 28 days.

If they don’t pay, the money will come from their benefits.

Coun Jackie Drayton, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “Improving school attendance and safeguarding children and young people is one of our key priorities. 
“We believe this will have a positive impact on young people’s educational achievements and future careers.

“We want every child and young person in the city to achieve their full potential by raising expectations and attainment – to do this we need to ensure every child and young person is in education every day.

“We are determined to improve Sheffield’s position compared to the national and major city attendance figures.

“This change reflects our ambitions for the city and the changing role of the local authority’s support for schools.”

The cabinet will discuss the attendance strategy on Wednesday, January 16.

 

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