§ Mr. Pawsey
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he proposes to take to reduce truancy rates in schools.
§ Mr. Fallon
My right hon. and learned Friend and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales have today issued for consultation a draft circular on school attendance together with draft regulations about pupil registration and the publication of information about rates of attendance.
Truancy needs to be tackled vigorously to ensure that the national curriculum and other educational reforms benefit all pupils. Governors, parents and prospective parents need to have the facts on school attendance. My right hon. Friends therefore propose that schools should be required to publish annually the rates of unauthorised absence for each year group, for each term of the preceding school year.
We expect schools to give the highest priority to maximising rates of attendance, and to work with parents, local education authorities and others to achieve that objective.
Local education authorities and other appropriate educational bodies have been invited to comment on the proposals with a view to regulations being made in the summer.