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Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 25 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance he has given to local education authorities on truancy reduction initiatives. [120160]

In addition to the examples of good practice in this area highlighted on our school attendance website we have within the last year disseminated guidance on the effective operation of truancy sweeps and issued advice on initiatives to meet specific truancy targets to the 61 areas involved in the Behaviour Improvement Programme. We are also providing expert advice and guidance in reducing truancy to 56 local education authorities with relatively high truancy rates.This month we are issuing guidance on the legal measures available to secure regular school attendance to local education authorities, schools and magistrates to promote more-effective handling of truancy cases. This guidance has been produced jointly with a wide range of partners including the former Lord Chancellor's Department, the Magistrates' Association and the Association of Chief Police Officers.In the autumn we will be producing updated school attendance guidance for schools and local education authorities as part of a package of training materials designed to help improve behaviour and attendance.