0370 270 6000

Definition of "persistent absence" to change

13 July 2011

The Department for Education announced on Tuesday that they are to reduce the threshold at which a pupil is defined as “persistently absent” from 20% to 15% in an attempt to solve truancy in schools. This reduction in the threshold is set to incorporate an additional 246,000 pupils but the move has been criticised by unions for failing to tackle the root cause of truancy.

On a practical level, the reduction in the threshold will impact on Ofsted’s evaluation of pupil attendance, and in some cases this could result in a lower grade. Ofsted has advised that they will explore ways of taking into account the lower threshold within the new framework expected early next year.

The government’s attempts to tackle truancy are unlikely to stop here. Nick Gibb has advised that in the coming months stronger powers for schools to deal with truancy will be announced. It remains to be seen whether these changes will actually deter persistent absences in schools.

Related opinions

Asbestos: Still the UK’s number one occupational killer

A ResPublica report highlighted that asbestos continues to be the UK’s number one occupational killer, with nurses and teachers 3 to 5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general UK population. The House of Commons Work & Pensions Select Committee is investigating how the HSE manages the continued presence of asbestos in buildings.

View blog

Head of Education, Mark Blois celebrates 25 years of being an education lawyer

Mark Blois, Browne Jacobson’s national Head of Education, is marking a notable anniversary, an incredible 25 years as an education lawyer.

View blog

Be wary of events post-dating the presentation of an Employment Tribunal claim

In Sakyi-Opare v Albert Kennedy Trust, the EAT held that an Employment Tribunal erred in deciding a claim was out of time because it did not first consider the claimant’s application to amend her claim, which included events that post-dated her claim.

View blog

A level results: what this means for schools and higher education?

This year’s A Level results have been a resounding success and demonstrate the commitment and resilience of students, schools and school staff during these unprecedented times. However, there will inevitably be some students who are disappointed with the teacher assessed grade.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up