§ Mr. Alex Carlile
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to remedy the poor attendance record of students in the later years of secondary schooling and in schools in deprived areas; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
The national curriculum and other educational reforms being introduced by the Government will increase opportunity and motivation for all pupils and thereby help to improve school attendance. In addition, a new category of education support grants, to raise attendance at designated schools, begins in April. The grants will support three-year projects in 35 English local education authorities at a total cost in 1990–91 of £2.34 million. Most of those grants are for projects in urban programme areas. Similar arrangements apply in Wales.
The Department has recently published a survey report by Her Majesty's inspectorate which reviews school attendance and calls attention to examples of good practice in schools and local education authorities.