16 Bridlington pupils caught in truancy sweep

MORE than 50 children have been stopped as part of a council-led crack down on truancy across the region – of which 16 were in Bridlington.

A total of 56 youngsters, aged between five and 16 were stopped during a number of truancy sweeps carried out by East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s education welfare services teamed up with Humberside Police.

The youngsters, who were stopped in Bridlington as well as Beverley, Goole, and Driffield were spoken to to find out why they were not in school.

Those stopped included children with parents and groups of young people while some of those spoken to were found to be from another local authority and officers will be making contact with the relevant schools to confirm their absence.

Mike Furbank, head of achievement and inclusion at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “There is a direct correlation between educational outcomes and the number of days spent in school.

“Children need to be in school to learn and we will work vigorously to make this happen.

“My thanks go to the education welfare service for their persistence and hard work in bringing about these improvements.”

But overall school attendance in the East Riding has been improving.

The number of holidays taken during term time has reduced by 38%, from 52,551 days lost in 2007/08 to 19,934 days lost during 2011/12.

Recent figures released by the Department for Education shows East Riding of Yorkshire Council are ranked 22nd out of 152 local authorities for overall attendance for primary schools – which is above the national average.

Secondary schools in the East Riding are ranked 77th out of 152 local authorities and is on a par with the national average.

Councillor Julie Abraham, portfolio holder for children, young people and local authority schools and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The improved attendance figures are good news for our children and young people as they can only benefit from a good education if they are in school.

“It is still concerning though, that some children are missing many days of their schooling and do not even attempt to hide their absence from the authorities.

“The message about the importance of a good education needs to be constantly reinforced and I give my full support to the efforts of the education welfare service and Humberside Police in tracking down and following up on those pupils not in school.”