Truancy blame shifting to parents

19th January 2001 at 00:00
JACQUI Smith's extraordinary report (TES, January 5) that 80 of the 91 children found truanting at Kempton Park were with a relative illustrates how illogical it has been in the past to hold schools responsible for pupil absence.

This Government set out to apply "pressure and support", in the name of raising standards. Pressure - from reform, inspection, the media and an escalating burden of responsiility - has had positive and adverse effects. But there are definite signs that the pressure is being followed by support and, thankfully, the culture of blame is beginning to be lifted. This evidence of condoned truancy will be welcomed by teachers who are aware of the practice and now feel vindicated.

George Varnava Vice-president, College of Teachers 5 Wheatlands Lane Newbury, Berkshire

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today