§ Mr. Don Foster
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the average level of unauthorised absence(a) in schools in local education authorities with three-tier school systems and (b) nationally. 
§ Ms Estelle Morris
Promoting regular school attendance is a key component in the Government's strategy to raise educational standards. Our recently published strategy document "Tackling Truancy Together" sets out our proposals to reduce days lost to education as a result of truancy. A copy has been placed in the Library.
In 1998–99, 0.6 per cent. of half days were missed as a result of unauthorised absence in maintained primary and secondary schools in those local education authorities in England which operated a three-tier system. This compares with an overall national figure of 0.7 per cent. of half days missed.