HC Deb 01 February 1995 vol 253 c751W
Mr. Barry Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what initiatives he is taking to eradicate truancy.

Mr. Richards

We attach great importance to the elimination of truancy and are continually looking at ways in which to effect this. Over the past 12 months or so we have;issued guidance to schools and LEAs on the policy and practice on categorisation of absence; published details of absence levels at individual secondary schools for the first time; encouraged LEAs to look more closely at individual pupils' absence rates and the reasons for them, and urged them to make more use of school attendance orders where appropriate; reminded parents through the revised Charter for Parents in Wales of their duty to ensure that their children attend school regularly; and supported projects totalling £663,500 on pupil discipline, bullying, and attendance including initiatives to combat truancy. The level of funding for 1995–96 has increased to £800,000 and the successful projects will be announced shortly.