New crackdown on truancy announced

Measures to improve behaviour and attendance at schools,
including additional truancy sweeps and electronic registration
schemes, were announced by the government this week,
writes Clare Jerrom.

Phase two of the Behaviour Improvement Programme will dedicate
£1.4 million this financial year to enable 600 schools in 27
local education authorities (LEAs) to plan and implement a series
of measures to tackle truancy and bad behaviour.

Minister for Young People and Adult Skills, Ivan Lewis, who
announced the extension of the programme said: “Tackling
truancy and bad behaviour in our schools is crucial to improving
levels of attainment for all pupils, improving their life chances
and improving our communities as a whole.”

Under the Programme, LEAs will be granted funds to develop a
package of measures which could include Behaviour and Education and
Support Teams which identify and provide intensive multi-agency
support to children at risk of developing social or behavioural

There will be a number of methods to address truanting  with
frequent truancy sweeps, attendance audits and school-based
educational welfare officers.

Other actions could include Learning Mentors, who will help
pupils overcome problems that are getting in the way of their
learning, ‘extended schools’ with activities out of
school hours and electronic registration systems which confirm the
attendance of each pupil in every class and can reduce unauthorised
absence rates by up to 10 per cent.

The Programme is a key part of the £470 million National
Behaviour and Attendance Strategy.

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