Sheffield truancy figures to an all time low

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Fewer Sheffield pupils are now persistently missing lessons than ever before, according to new figures which look at trends over the past eight years.

The Government’s crackdown on parents taking term time holidays, with fines imposed on those breaking the rules, has been hailed by ministers as a key factor.

They say absences nationally are at their lowest level since comparable records began.

In 2006, during the autumn and spring terms, 6,600 Sheffield youngsters were labelled persistent truants, something defined as a child missing 38 or more sessions of schooling - over ten per cent of the year group.

By spring 2010 the figure had fallen to 5,680 pupils – 9.2 per cent – looking at the same two terms.

The most recent statistics for autumn 2013 and spring 2014 show a major reduction in regular truancy, down to 3,410 students or 5.4 per cent of the total.

It is a similar story in Rotherham and Barnsley, where the truancy percentage has fallen to 4.5 per cent and 5.7 per cent.

If pupils are persistently absent throughout their school career they would lose 18 months of lesson time.

Overall the number of pupils missing school to go on holiday has dropped by almost a third over the last year, despite opposition from local authorities to the new regime.

Almost a million fewer school days were lost as a result of only allowing youngsters time off in ‘exceptional circumstances’.