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* Experts say the Government figure of 50,000 pupils truanting every day is well short of the mark. A TUCMori poll in 2001 found that 100,000 children under 16 truant every day to hold down jobs

* Five per cent of all crimes are committed by truants during school hours

* Almost one pupil in three picked up on recent truancy sweeps was under the age of 11

* Electronic registration combined with an automated response system to parents has cut unauthorised absences by up to 30 per cent in some schools

* Family holidays in term time is becoming the single biggest cause of non-attendance

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