City pupils set new record on attendance

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Pupil attendance at both primary and secondary schools in Leeds has reached the highest levels ever according to the latest figures.

For the autumn term 2011-12 attendance at primary schools improved by 1.7 per cent on the previous year to 95.9 per cent and attendance at secondary schools also increased by 1.7 per cent to 94.1 per cent.

The national average for primary schools is also 95.9 per cent and the national average for secondary schools is 94.5 per cent.

According to Leeds City Council, changes in how schools, the local authority and voluntary services work together to tackle poor attendance is one aspect which has helped bring about this improvement.

By working much more closely together in the locality the council and schools provide coordinated support for individual children and families, as well as delivering locality-wide interventions, to tackle the underlying issues which lead to poor school attendance.

Such interventions address problems such as mental health, domestic violence, unemployment, crime and anti-social behaviour, all of which can have a massive difference on a child’s attendance at school.

Coun Judith Blake, the council’s executive member for children’s services, said: “These figures demonstrate real progress for Leeds and are extremely good news. Improving school attendance is one of our three obsessions and so I am pleased to see our numbers improving. However, we do recognise that there is more to do.”