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Volume 974: debated on Wednesday 21 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has held discussions with the Society of Education Officers on the subject of absenteeism in schools generally; what was the level of absenteeism in Staffordshire schools for the years 1976, 1977 and 1978 in percentage and real terms; whether the trend for 1979 on the figures thus far available show an upward or downward trend; and what is the percentage of absenteeism in (a) Lichfield, (b) Tamworth and (c) Burntwood for the current year.

My right hon. and learned Friend met representatives of the Society of Education Officers in August, but absenteeism in schools was not on the agenda. Detailed information on absenteeism is not collected by this Department. My hon. Friend, however, might like to get in touch with Staffordshire local education authority.