Thursday, January 19, 2006

£885m Anti-Truancy Programme Increases Truancy

The Public Accounts Committee today reported that the government's £885m campaign to reduce school truancy has been worse than useless.

In 1997-98 when Labour came to power, unauthorised absence was 0.78% of total pupil days in state schools. They reckoned this was far too high and set themselves the target of reducing it by a third. The then Education Secretary, "Bonkers" Blunkett, implemented expensive programmes involving 10,000 mentors, 1,000 Learning Support Units, and "attendance audit and training materials and consultants".

The result? By 2004-05 unauthorised absence had increased to 0.83%.

Ask yourself. Honestly. Would 10,000 government mentors, 1,000 LSUs, audits, consultants etc etc make the school experience more or less attractive?


Another £885m on the fire.

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