Home calls in bid to catch truants

EDUCATION bosses are swooping on homes in Thorne and the surrounding area in a bid to catch children skipping lessons.

Around 1,000 homes throughout the borough have already been visited as part of Doncaster Council’s month-long truancy crackdown which has been supported by 64 schools.

Headteachers have identified pupils whose parents, guardians or carers will be visited by council bosses. Primary pupils with less than 90 per cent attendance, and children who have attended less than 85 per cent of secondary school will be targeted.

Coun Andrea Milner, the council’s cabinet member for children, said: “The current operation has been offered to all of our schools and is a real opportunity for us to make proactive and direct contact with families and find out why some of our children are not attending school as often as they should.

“I hope the campaign sends out a strong message that persistent school absence will not be tolerated.

“Our education welfare officers are able to offer individual support and advice on improving school attendance. We are committed to ensuring continued progress is made in this area.”

Last March the Government published league tables which revealed 4.1 per cent of the 39,090 children enrolled in Doncaster’s schools persistently skipped lessons - the fourth highest in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Hull was top with 5.4 per cent, followed by Leeds and Sheffield.

Parents who fail to ensure their children attend school could be taken to court.

For more information on school attendance contact the council on 01302 737252 or visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/educationwelfare