Truancy
Mr. Evans
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of persistently truant schoolchildren in Lancashire in the last year for which figures are available. [90975]
Mr. Miliband
It is not possible to estimate the number of persistently truant school children in Lancashire from the data we have available at present. The data for the national pupil absence survey is collected at school level and there is only one set of figures for each school, so that we cannot identify which children were persistently absent. Information on the characteristics of individual pupils cannot be deduced from this data. However, in 2001/02 there were 17,934 pupils that were absent for at least one half day due to unauthorised absence and the average number of half days they missed was 15.