ATL comment on latest pupil absence figures
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:
“The latest pupil absence figures are a testament to the work many schools do to identify and support persistently absent pupils and their families to increase their attendance and participation in their education. However, we are concerned that ever-increasing workload and cuts in many pastoral teams will mean that this excellent work will get lost, risking the education and future of these children and young people.
“The increase in absence from illness needs further investigation; is this due to an increase in illnesses within the population as a whole, or could it be the impact of increasing pressure on our young people, or perhaps the result of a child and adolescent mental health service that’s struggling to meet the demands placed on it.
“Regarding term-time holidays, it seems that the Government’s focus on fining or jailing parents doesn’t work.”