HC Deb 20 January 2000 vol 342 cc538-9W
24. Mr. Shaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what support and advice has been given to schools to improve the rate of attendance by pupils. [103700]

Jacqui Smith

We are investing £500 million over three years on projects tackling truancy and school exclusion and other initiatives to get children back into school and learning. To support this major investment, we issued new guidance to schools in July 1999 entitled "Social Inclusion: Pupil Support", which includes evidence on what works in increasing attendance rates at school.

On 1 November 1999 we also issued our strategy document "Tackling Truancy Together" which sets out our further proposals for helping to reduce unauthorised absence from school. We are currently considering the many responses we received to the proposals in that document, and will make an announcement soon on what further action we want to take to help reduce unauthorised absence from school.