§ Mr. McAllion
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what initiatives his Department has taken since 1990 to tackle school truancy.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
A number of initiatives have been taken aimed at focusing the attention of education authorities, schools and parents on the problem of truancy. These areA consultation paper "Action on Truancy in Scotland" issued in April 1991.Two surveys of truancy in schools in June and November 1991, commissioned from the Scottish Council for Research in Education and published in 1992.A study on "Links Between Truancy and Delinquency" commissioned from the MVA Consultancy and published in 1992.Regulations made in July 1993 requiring the collection and publication of information on attendance, authorised absence and unauthorised absence by stage for Scottish schools.A report by the Audit Unit of HM Inspectorate "Attendance, Truancy & Performance" issued in October 1993.
In the new year an audit unit report containing school-based information on attendance, and authorised and unauthorised absence will be issued. The Scottish Council for Research in Education has also been commissioned to investigate and report on the links between truancy and performance in primary and secondary schools and it will report in 1995. To assist schools in dealing with truancy a support pack called "The Truancy File" will be sent free to all Scottish schools.