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School attendance drive paying off in Swansea

Comprehensive school pupils in Swansea are missing fewer lessons than many of their counterparts in Wales.

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The city has seen the third most improved attendance figures during the last five years out of all 22 Welsh local authorities.

During the last school year the average attendance rate at secondary schools in Swansea stood at 94.3%, which was up from 92.3% five years ago, and above the Welsh average.

A range of measures have been introduced in Swansea to improve school attendance.

The latest figures come less than a month after GCSE and A-Level students in Swansea celebrated exam results well above the Welsh average.

Figures for primary school attendance will be published later this month but these figures are on a long-term upward curve in Swansea as well.

Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Life Long Learning, Jennifer Raynor, said: "Pupils can only achieve their full potential if they are regularly in school.

"It is not a coincidence that as attendance rates have improved, so have exam results.

"This has not come about by chance as Swansea Council has made a concerted effort to tackle this issue in recent years.

"While this consistent improvement in attendance over the last five years is extremely encouraging, we will continue to work closely with pupils, parents, schools and governors to try to continue this progress."

Swansea was ranked 16th out of the 22 local authorities in Wales for secondary school attendance four years ago. It has climbed to 7th for 2016/17.

During the year pupils missed an average of 5.7 days of school, down from 6.7 in 2013/14.

Of this an average of 4.5 days was authorised absence and 1.2 was unauthorised.

The council's incentivising attendance scheme sees primary and secondary pupils who achieve a 98% or better attendance record, or those who have shown a significant improvement in attendance, entered into a prize draw every half-term.


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