Absent Minds: Attendance and Absence in Scotland’s Schools
NEARLY 80,000 CHILDREN MISS A DAY OF SCHOOL EVERY WEEK
- “Alarming trend”, warns Commission on School Reform
- Over 210,000 miss a day every fortnight
- Problem worse at high school – 40% of pupils miss a day per fortnight
The Commission on School Reform, the independent group of education experts set up by the think tank Reform Scotland, has today released new research on pupil absence from schools, based on Freedom of Information requests to Scottish local authorities.
The research, broken down by local authority and school stage, reveals that an alarming number of children are missing school regularly.
The research shows:
- Nearly one in three children are missing an average of one day per fortnight
- One in eight are missing a day a week
- Nearly 20 per cent of high school pupils miss a day every week
- And 2-in-5 miss a day every fortnight, including during the examination years
There is significant variation at local authority level, with some particularly concerning levels of absence in secondary schools:
- Half of high schools pupils are missing a day every fortnight in Dundee, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire
- This compares to one-quarter or less in East Dunbartonshire, Highland, South Lanarkshire and Stirling
- Full tables are available in the briefing.
In the briefing, Absent Minds, the Commission calls on the Scottish Government to take the issue more seriously, to investigate and collect the data at a national level, and to work with willing local authorities on a pilot scheme to reverse this dangerous trend of absence.