School attendance continues upward trend
ATTENDANCE at Swansea Primary and Secondary schools rose again last year and hopes are high that the trend will continue into the new school year.
Figures for the spring term 2007/08 just released show measures from a new electronic register system to direct support to pupils and parents are having an impact on attendance.
The rate of primary school attendance in Swansea was an improvement on the previous year at 92.66 per cent up more than 1 per cent on the same time last year.
Secondary School attendance was up to 90.64 per cent - compared to 88.94 per cent in the same quarter in 2007.
Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Mike Day said, "The percentage of pupil attendance in primary schools and secondary schools are both currently above target. This is a very good result which maintains an upward trend.
"Our schools employ a number of methods to monitor attendance and to check on missing pupils and to inform parents of absences.
"These include first day calling, electronic systems including lesson monitor and text messaging parents about unexplained absences.
"Our team of Education Welfare Officers know that when pupils miss school they are missing out and that poor attendance can lead to poor achievement in future. Identifying problems faced by young people and their families at an early stage is key to finding solutions."
Among the measures in Swansea schools to help boost pupil attendance and reduce truancy is are computerised systems to record attendance, and in secondary schools pupils' attendance is recorded on a lesson by lesson basis.
The programme has also enabled many primary schools to use a system of direct entry to record attendance.
It means no school in Swansea now uses paper registers.
The electronic registration system sees attendance data collected by Swansea Council to quickly identify trends and attendance issues
And a rapid response "truancy call" system has been adopted in a number of secondary schools, linking the computer data with a phonelink system which repeatedly calls parents or carers until they receive the message about their child's absence. The system can also send text messages to parents' mobile phones.
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