Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, October 11, 1999 Published at 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK


'Swipecard' to cut truancy

The government has pledged to cut truancy by a third

Pupils in schools with truancy problems are to be given 'swipecards' to help monitor attendance.

Pupils will use the electronic attendance cards to 'clock in' at the beginning of lessons, so that staff can track when classes are being missed.

The pilot scheme is to be announced by the Home Office this week as part of a package of measures to reduce youth crime.

The link between children playing truant and crime has previously been highlighted by the government, with claims that two-thirds of school-age offenders have a record of truancy or exclusion from school.

The pilot scheme, which will begin in schools with 'severe' truancy problems, is to be announced by Home Office Minister Charles Clarke, a former education minister.

Larger fines

The cards, which could carry a picture of the pupil, will be the latest effort to support schools which have difficulties in keeping pupils in lessons - with the government setting a target of cutting truancy by a third by 2002.

At this year's Labour party conference, the Education Secretary David Blunkett announced that there would be larger fines for parents of persistent truants - up to £5,000 per couple per child.

A £500m campaign against truancy has included the granting of greater powers to police to catch truants and encouragement for schools to play a more active role in contacting parents when pupils fail to attend.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Education Contents

Hot Topics
UK Systems
League Tables

Relevant Stories

29 Sep 99†|†Education
Sceptics say bigger fines will not work

29 Sep 99†|†Education
Warning for truants' parents

26 Jan 99†|†Features
Parents of truants face prison

22 Jan 99†|†Education
Tackling truancy

Internet Links

Home Office

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

'Golden hellos' fail to attract new teachers

Children join online Parliament

Pupils 'too ignorant to vote'

Red tape toolkit 'not enough'

Poor report for teacher training consortium

Specialist schools' results triumph

Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges

Blunkett welcomes Dyke's education commitment

Web funding for specialist teachers

Local authorities call for Woodhead's sacking

Dyslexic pensioner wins PhD

Armed forces children need school help

Black pupils 'need better-trained teachers'

College 'is not cool'