13,000 secondary pupils never miss school in Wales

Image caption Ministers say the latest attendance figures are encouraging

More pupils than ever recorded a perfect attendance at secondary school in the last year.

A total of 13,181 pupils (8.1% ) did not miss a day, new figures reveal.

A year after tougher measures to tackle truanting came into force, absenteeism saw its biggest drop in nine years.

Counties with the highest proportion of unauthorised absences are Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff and Newport, the lowest are Carmarthenshire and Flintshire.

Most absences are authorised and cover illness and medical appointments. The figures show:

  • The number with a perfect record was the highest since records started in 2008
  • There were 12,272 pupils who were absent for more than 25 days but the proportion of pupils with more days absent is falling
  • There are a core of around 8,000 pupils responsible for more than half of unauthorised absences
  • 2.8% of these were due to family holidays not agreed by the school - this proportion rose. But there was a fall in absence due to family holidays agreed with the school
  • The percentage of persistent absentees has fallen every year since 2007/08 and has been halved

Tougher measures to tackle school absence rates came into force a year ago.

Parents who fail to stop their child missing lessons will be issued a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will double if they fail to pay within 28 days.

Education Minister Huw Lewis said: "If children and young people are going to get the most out of their education and fulfil their potential it's so important that they attend school regularly and benefit from being in a learning environment."

Image copyright Statistics for Wales
Image caption The darker shades on the map show areas with more unauthorised absences

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