Figures reveal rise in unauthorised school absences

Recent figures have shown an increase in unauthorised absence from schools across Scotland, and this increase has been replicated in Fife.
Recent figures have shown an increase in unauthorised absence from schools across Scotland, and this increase has been replicated in Fife.

Recent figures have shown an increase in unauthorised absence from schools across Scotland, and this increase has been replicated in Fife.

From the 2012/13 session to 2016/17 session, primary school unauthorised absence has increased from 1.69 per cent of pupils to 1.95 per cent of pupils, while in just one year from 2015/16 session to 2016/17 session it increased in secondary schools from 2.51 per cent to 3.42 per cent.

Fife Liberal Democrat education spokesperson councillor James Calder has expressed concerns about this pattern. He said it is important to find out the reasons for youngsters not attending school without permission.

Cllr. Calder said: “I am worried about this trend where we have seen more pupils out of school on unauthorised absence over the past few years.

“Parents should ensure their children’s education comes first and authorised absence will naturally only be given in exceptional circumstances.

“Holidays should not be booked out of the school holidays calendar just to save a bit of money, as education is essential.

“However we need to find out why this is happening.”

Cllr Calder is urging the council to investigate why there has been a rise un unauthorised absences: “I am calling for the Fife Education and Children’s Services department to take action both to find out why these absences have increased and to take action to try and reduce this.”