Truancy truisms

The government seems determined to get more parents of persistent truants on the fast track to prosecution scheme, under which they will automatically be prosecuted unless their child’s attendance improves.

The causes of truancy are complex. They are often a combination of home, school and individual factors, and there are massive logistical and cost implications to the whole problem. We have seen the introduction of electronic registration, truancy sweeps, and the prosecution of parents, but there is little evidence that any of these measures have had any impact on truancy figures.

If the only time a parent hears from the school is when there is a problem, it doesn’t take a genius  to realise this will not be the basis of a good relationship upon which to build.

Let’s find ways of listening to young people and their families about the “whys” of truancy, of meeting those needs with universal and targeted provision, and of bringing an end to some of our most vulnerable citizens being publicly pilloried.

Jenny Deeks
Children, Families & Young People Executive Director

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