Truants on the city streets;Briefing;Hot Data

17th December 1999 at 00:00
CHILDREN in cities are significantly more likely to play truant than their rural counterparts.

Although there is still a wide variation in rates of unauthorised absences between different schools and authorities, the trend is clear. The lowest truancy rates are found in rural areas. London, especially inner- London, and some northern cities have the highest levels of absence.

The table above shows all 13 inner London authorities had truancy rates of 1 per cent or more.

Other figures reveal that some of the authorities with the poorest examination results also have the worst truancy records.

These findings set the benchmark by which the success of initiatives such as the education action zones and Excellence in Cities will be judged.

Curiously, some education authorities with "three-tier" systems (where upper schools are fed from nine to 13 middle schools), have rates of unauthorised absence that are higher than might be expected. Three of the 10 worst secondaries, all with unauthorised absence rates of 8 per cent of more, are upper schools in three-tier systems. The remaining 13 to 18 schools have above average rates of unauthorised absence. This cannot be fully explained by their locations.

Overall, most pupils were in school on the day of the census. Whether they stayed there all day is another question.

John Howson is a visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University. E-mail: Int.edu@lineone.net

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now