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Canny lass

Truancy - How Is It Being Dealt With?

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There's a great debate going on here about how to reduce the very high truancy rate in schools. This evening, on the 9 o' clock news, I heard that parents in Britain are being fined (32,000 last year) if their children play truant. Can anybody throw any light on the subject? First and foremost, is it true? If so how long has this been going on and is it having any effect - positive or negative? I'd also like to know if the number of days of absence is still documented on school reports in Britain, as it was when I was a child. How about the school leaving report - can prospective employers see in the amount of absence in the child's leaving report?

I'm greatful for any information as to how truancy is being dealt with in Britain.

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I believe it's true about fining parents. I know a friend of mine was having trouble with one of her daughters - bullying at school - and the kid was reluctant to go. She was told she would be fined. But I don't know the exact details of the school-government system.

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....and to answer your question on absence being documented. It's a target for the schools and the pupils every term and actions are taken if attendance is at a certain level.

I highly doubt that employers will have access to this however as most people are unemployable at the minute straight out of school, well in jobs where their school attendance would make any difference anyway!!

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I know that Bedlington Community High School issues attendance figures for each pupil regularly, at least every half term. My daughter came home the other day with a recognition for 100% attendance and they have only been back for a few weeks. So it does show that they are monitoring attendance closely. If a pupil fails to turn up for school, or if a parent has not rang in with a reason why, an automated phone call is made by the school to the parent for them to contact the school. This is usually done arround 9:30 (ish).

I have another daughter ( Briony) who is a junior stylist at Euphoria hairdressers (opposite the Northumberland on Vulcan place) and her attendance and attitude at work is 100%. She spent her last year at school itching to leave and find a job. It has not been all plain sailing for her, but she looks forward going to work more than she ever did going to school. The point that I am trying to make is, staying at school and gaining extra qualifactions does not benefit everyone. Some people like Briony, benefit more by getting into the work place earlier to start their training for their chosen carreers.

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Thanks for the response. I totally agree with you both, Keith and Malcolm. Academic achievement isn't everything. They seem to have an odd idea here about reporting the amount of absence in school reports. It's not allowed here but there is a growing contingencyof people who are pressing the government for this to be allowed. The reason it's not allowed is because it's seen as "a form of punishment for the child" - yes, those are the very words being used! - and not as a means of informing parents who may be unaware of the situation. I myself can see several positive aspects to recording absence. Firstly it gives a background against which to judge a child' achievements. If a child does really badly at school It may be because they have been absent for half the term because of illness and that should be taken into account. Equally a child can do extremely well despite having been absent for half the term because of ill health and that shouldn't be overlooked either. Secondly, I think it's a good thing for prospective employers to know how the attendance rate has been. Thirdly, I think it's good for the child to have some concrete figures so that he/she is made aware of the size of the problem.

I'm interested in knowing what effects this system of fines in Britain is having - if any. Can anybody point me in the direction of any articles, information etc. on this?

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They are not just fined , Canny Lass, There is quite a number of parents who have been jailed for not ensuring their kids were at school. The truant officer, (school board man or the hookey man as we would call him ) takes on a different role these days, no more lurking in the half light of doorways to grab a handfull of kids by the collars and marching them to school to re-start their day with 6 of the best. Now its phonecall, e-mail , letter, summons, fine, then if you still dont get them to school, Jail. Being at work and thinking little Johny is at school is no excuse. You are to ensure your child is at school or give a very good reason why not.

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They are not just fined , Canny Lass, There is quite a number of parents who have been jailed for not ensuring their kids were at school. The truant officer, (school board man or the hookey man as we would call him ) takes on a different role these days, no more lurking in the half light of doorways to grab a handfull of kids by the collars and marching them to school to re-start their day with 6 of the best. Now its phonecall, e-mail , letter, summons, fine, then if you still dont get them to school, Jail. Being at work and thinking little Johny is at school is no excuse. You are to ensure your child is at school or give a very good reason why not.

Any idea how long the truant officer has had this type of roll Keith? Is it something relatively new? Have there been any reports (government, newspapers, TV etc.) on how successfull the system is or otherwise. Anybody know what the children think about this system?

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When I was a teenager at school in the late sixties early seventies my mam got visited often by the schoolboard man. The reason was I had a poisoned heel and couldn't get any shoes on. In the end the headmaster - Mister Surtees - gave me a lift every day. As I say, that was 1960s-70s; and I believe the schoolboard man was around before that.

Edited by keith lockey

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When I was a teenager at school in the late sixties early seventies my mam got visited often by the schoolboard man. The reason was I had a poisoned heel and couldn't get any shoes on. In the end the headmaster - Mister Surtees - gave me a lift every day. As I say, that was 1960s-70s; and I believe the schoolboard man was around before that.

I can remember the schoolboard man as well Keith but as far as I know he just came to the school, looked at the register and knocked on doors. I'm more interested in this more intense activity which Keith (the otherin) describes above " phonecall, e-mail , letter, summons, fine, then if you still don't get them to school, Jail." At some point in time a decision must have been made to take these measures, probably at government level, and if that's the case the method is likely to have been evaluated at some time - unless it's very recent. It's this evaluation I'm interested in. Is the system working? Anybody know if the amount of truancy has been reduced?

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CL,

As far as I remember it, measures were brought in as a knee reaction last time we had a Conservative Government and the Blair Government carried the polices on and increased the severity of potential retribution as a vote winner.

Its the worst kind of legislation, its being played and passed aorund as a political football rather than strict adherence to the facts.

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Any idea how long the truant officer has had this type of roll Keith? Is it something relatively new? Have there been any reports (government, newspapers, TV etc.) on how successfull the system is or otherwise. Anybody know what the children think about this system?

Canny Lass.

The School Board man is now known as the Welfare Officer. Northumberland has a dept to deliver this role.

This from last year might be of interest to you:

http://www.chronicle...72703-28428655/

The school I work at has an Inclusion Policy which works hard at getting kids back into school. Some Associate Staff have this as their role. Indeed one is like an out reach worker.

Malcolm is right not all kids are academic & there should be greater value attributed to vocational courses. My 37 years at KEVI has seen lots of excellent kids come through courses such as BTec & gone on to be very successful.

I was never academic at school. I went on to a Technical College which was one of the first to run a TV Production course & my old lecturer gave me the bug for TV & Radio & my first job in media when I joined the unit on a temporary basis.

I remain eternally grateful to my old lecturer Dave. Thank you Sir!

Edited by Brett

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regarding the school board man he was around in the 1940s i should know as i was one of the pupils he was after i would rather go into the woods than go to school .happy days

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Thank you guys!! There's plenty there to get my teeth into and from the quick perusal I've just done, there seem to be some really good sites for such information. Myself, I haven't been able to find much on the Internet so I'm really grateful for the help.

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All this green tree huging crap is all as i said crap,what we need again is discipline in bucket loads most kids to-day have no respect for anybody, my fear was my father when i was a kid if i played truant (and i did) i had a size 10 to worry about if i was found out to-day they just laugh at that .................

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I must agree Brian as I said once before under a different topic! discipline and respect! I believe having respect would get rid of a lot of the need for discipline. (I also believe that being too "PC†is destroying the the life we used to value!)

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Couldn't agree more Brian and Vic and its our generation who have allowed it to happen.

Its akin to the financial crisis, at some point the correction has to come and the longer its left the harder that correction will have to be.

I am not quite sure where we got this laissez-faire attitude from especially as we were so enthusiastic in our youth?

We have bent the knee to every minority who said they were aggrieved, we have compromised our culture to accept others and we have accepted a political class who would best be described as weak, for fear of being moderated! This is not the revolution in society I went on demos in my youth to bring about!

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Slightly off topic but very relevant to the point about the emphasis on academic results.

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