Attendance at Swansea primary schools at all-time high
ATTENDANCE at Swansea primary schools is at an all time high, new Welsh Government figures have revealed.
Latest statistics show a 93.3 per cent attendance for the city's primary schools in 2011/2012 - an increase on the year before and the best figures for years.
The figures for truancy, which is recorded as unauthorised absence, have improved too. Swansea is better than the Wales average and truancy here is just a third of the levels recorded in Newport or Cardiff.
The data follows a report at the end of last year which showed record results for secondary school attendance in Swansea in 2011/2012 too.
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Will Evans, Cabinet Member for Learning and Skills, said: "Improving attendance at school is absolutely vital to helping young people have the best possible chance of making the most of their lives.
"Children cannot learn if they are not in school. Attendance is essential to driving up standards.
"That's why these figures are such great news. They are a credit to pupils, parents, schools, support staff at the Council and staff from our partner agencies who have contributed to this change.
"However we must continue to improve attendance further and the Council will continue to work with everyone involved to drive forward the upward trend."
A number of different methods are used to monitor attendance in schools, to check on missing pupils and to inform parents of absences.
These include schools utilising pastoral support teams to monitor daily attendance and welfare and contact parents initially and on a long term basis to maintain links with home.
The work also helps identify problems faced by young people and their families at any early stage and can be hugely important to finding solutions.
Text alerts are used for absences in primary and secondary but also for general information to parents.
Council and school websites are used to inform parents of responsibilities with regard to school attendance as well as provide details of term dates, inset days and closures.
Social media such as Twitter and Facebook are also employed to keep parents informed of school openings and closures.
Unauthorised absence is any absence without the permission of the school and can include late arrivals after the close of registration and any absence for which a satisfactory explanation, in the view of the school, hasn't been provided.