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Truancy: Hampshire

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to reduce the levels of truancy in local education authority areas in Hampshire; and if he will make a statement. (162420)

The Government are focused on driving down all unnecessary absence so that pupils get their full entitlement to education. I have asked every local authority to aim to reduce absence in all their schools to below 2002/03 average levels for similar schools; and to ensure that pupils who miss a fifth or more of the school year are brought back into education. We have targeted authorities such as Portsmouth and Hampshire for extra support to reduce persistent absence.

The support given to pupils and their families is focused on their individual circumstances and needs using multi-agency approaches, such as Targeted Youth Support and support for pupils with longer term and recurring illnesses, to address the underlying causes of the absence and, where appropriate, sanctions such as penalty notices and prosecutions.