St Albans school absence figures revealed
UNAUTHORISED absence figures released by the government last week have revealed worrying results for two local schools. Government figures for the 2008 autumn term and 2009 spring term highlight both Francis Bacon Secondary School and Windermere Primary S
UNAUTHORISED absence figures released by the government last week have revealed worrying results for two local schools.
Government figures for the 2008 autumn term and 2009 spring term highlight both Francis Bacon Secondary School and Windermere Primary School as having high unauthorised absence rates.
Francis Bacon School on Drakes Drive has the highest unauthorised absence results for secondary schools in the county at four per cent, but deputy head teacher Ian Bailey, who has been at the school for six months, said that the data was already "out of date".
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He added: "Our figures have improved so much over the past six months and the results recently released by the government are now misleading. For example, our persistent absence rate - that is, those children who have a percentage attendance below 80 per cent - is only two per cent which I am sure is one of the lowest results in Herts."
A spokesperson for Herts County Council (HCC) also stressed that there has been a "significant improvement" in overall attendance at Francis Bacon School and added: "The school has also adopted further strategies this academic year to focus on improving attendance, such as the use of fixed penalty notices."
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Windermere Primary School on Windermere Avenue has an unauthorised absence rate of two per cent and in light of the disappointing results, it has introduced a range of strategies including a 100 per cent weekly attendance challenge for classes and trophies for excellent attendance.
A HCC spokesperson said that they are supporting Windermere as much as possible and added: "As well as receiving support from HCC's Attendance Improvement Officer, Windermere also runs surgeries in school for parents and telephone surgeries for parents unable to come into school."
On a more positive note, Loreto College on Hatfield Road, Sandringham School on The Ridgeway and St George's School in Sun Lane, Harpenden all achieved an unauthorised absence rate of 0.3 per cent and below.
St Peter's Primary School in Cottonmill Lane, SS Alban and Stephen Junior School in Cecil Road and Garden Fields JMI School in Townsend Drive all achieved an impressive unauthorised absence rate of 0 per cent.