ASCL Cymru comment on school attendance figures

Eithne Hughes, Director of ASCL Cymru, comments on the latest school attendance statistics published by the Welsh government. 
“For the second week running not a single year group for statutory aged pupils has hit 90% attendance, but the continuing deterioration in the absence recorded among our exam-age learners is becoming a serious cause for concern.
“This is particularly worrying among those who face A-levels in a matter of a few weeks’ time, with a quarter of them absent last week, again for the second week running, and continuing the parlous trend we have seen for several months now.
“Schools are now engaged in planning for scaling back their Covid protection measures in readiness for moving back to the Welsh government’s contingency framework after half-term in February, but will be wondering why they are being asked to do so whilst the overall absence picture continues to be so negative.
“The Welsh government needs to give schools and colleges more confidence in the measures proposed by issuing detailed and coherent guidance if we are to stand any chance of seeing higher attendance rates after half-term.”