Posted BY: | NwoReport

The number of schoolchildren regularly missing class has more than doubled since the pandemic, amid fears the lockdowns “normalized” truancy. The Mail has more.

Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza has issued a stark warning over a “crisis of attendance” as the number of ‘persistently absent’ children in England rose to 1.6 million.

The Department for Education’s ‘persistence absence’ rate measures the number of children missing at least 10% of school. Its latest figures show 22% of pupils were ‘persistently absent’ across the 2022/23 academic year – up from 10.9% prior to the Covid pandemic.

Ms. de Souza said the figures represent “the biggest problem facing us” as she shared fears that the pandemic, along with teacher strikes, has “normalised” truancy. The Children’s Commissioner also revealed that, of the total, a million children are missing school for reasons other than illness.

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Seamus Murphy, chief executive of Turner Schools, blamed lockdown for “disrupting good habits” and slammed parents who have become “inclined to let children stay at home on a Friday”.

Secondary schools had the highest number of missing pupils, with more than a quarter persistently absent across the 2022/23 academic year.

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