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Primary school attendance improvement best in Wales

Primary schools in Swansea have seen the most improved attendance rate in Wales in recent years.

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Five years ago the rate stood at 93% across the city, but thanks to a strong focus on improving the figure led by Swansea Council, hard work by staff and pupils at the schools with of course the support of parents and carers this climbed to 95% for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The figures, which have recently been released by the Welsh Government, show in terms of attendance rates at primary schools, Swansea has risen from being in the bottom half of the 22 local authorities in Wales to eighth.

For 2016-2017, eight schools achieved an attendance rate of 96% or better, 39 schools had a rate of at least 95%, and 21 achieved 94% or better.

Crwys Primary has the best attendance rate in Swansea at 96.6% and headteacher Dylan Saer is pictured with members of the school council celebrating this achievement.

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

The council set-up an Improvement Board five years ago and cabinet members receive regular reports to ensure progress.

Work is ongoing with a small number of schools with low attendance rates and there is to be a further focus on pupils with persistent absences.

The picture is also positive among comprehensive school pupils.

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 again well above the Welsh average.

Cllr Jennifer Raynor, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning, said: "These latest figures showing Swansea has the most improved primary school attendance figures in Wales over the last five years reflect a lot of hard work and effort.

"They could not have been achieved without the support of teachers, pupils and their families and I'd like to thank them for their efforts to date.

"But I do not want this to be the end of the story and we can continue to improve.

"There is a clear link between attendance and attainment and we all want to ensure every child in Swansea achieves their full potential."


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