BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 15 November, 2002, 11:51 GMT
Tough action pledged on truancy
playground
The government links truancy and crime
The government has underlined its tougher line on truants and parents who allow their children to skip school.

Education Secretary Charles Clarke expanded on previous government announcements made during a Commons debate on the Queen's Speech.

The proposals included making mothers and fathers of persistent truants attend parenting classes.

It is estimated that 50,000 children are absent from school every day without permission.

Education Secretary Charles Clarke
Clarke is disappointed with the truancy figures
Mr Clarke said: "Parents have both a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that their children attend school regularly.

"We believe it is completely unacceptable for parents to condone truancy from schools."

The plans include:

  • a programme of truancy sweeps to check on youngsters missing lessons
  • parenting orders, backed by the threat of legal action and fines, for parenting skills classes
  • closer working between schools and police, with some officers stationed at schools
  • electronic registration in high truancy areas

In recent truancy sweeps, half the children stopped were with their parents.

And the latest figures showed little change, with only a slight fall in the number of children missing school in the year to the end of May.

Mr Clarke said: "These figures simply aren't good enough.

"We have to work to change that because truancy damages not only the children themselves and their own hopes and aspirations, it damages society and it can lead to crime."

'Too harsh'

It was Mr Clarke's first Commons speech since Estelle Morris resigned as Education Secretary last month, following problems with A-level gradings.

He described his predecessor as an "outstanding" minister who helped to improve the education system.

"I personally think she was too harsh on herself in the judgment she issued when she decided to resign and I hope that if I can get anywhere near her own level of achievement, then I will have done more than well."

See also:

06 Nov 02 | England
09 Oct 02 | Education
09 Oct 02 | Education
27 May 02 | Education
28 May 02 | Education
18 Jun 02 | Education
Internet links:


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


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes