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In the News

Sociology in the News: School absentees storing up problems for decades

Vicki Woolven

10th October 2022

Absenteeism from school is storing up problems for young people for "decades to come", a senior MP has warned. Education Select Committee chair Robert Halfon said more than 100,000 "ghost children" had not returned to school since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Back in March the Education Select Committee warned that the loss of learning due to Covid could contribute towards an 'epidemic of inequality' - Mr Halfon told BBC Politics East: "I describe them as the four horsemen of the educational apocalypse galloping towards young people - lost educational attainment, damage to their mental health, damage to their safeguarding and loss of life chances. This is going to be with us not just for a few weeks or months, but potentially for decades to come."

Focusing on the East of England, he stated that over 200,000 pupils had been absent for more than 10% of the time, with 11,000 missing 50% of their lessons. Looking at national figures school attendance has fallen to 80.8%!

The government has introduced a new Schools Bill which hopes to tighten up attendance - however many critics state that it is not focusing on supporting students and looking at the reasons they are not attending, rather than punishing those who don't. Parents group Square Peg have said "Criminal sanctions such as fines and threats of imprisonment have no place in the state's duty to provide education."

You can see more on this story on Politics East - https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/...

Vicki Woolven

Vicki Woolven is Subject Lead for Key Stage 4 Humanities at tutor2u. Vicki previously worked as a Head of Geography and Sociology for many years, leading her department to be one of the GA's first Centres of Excellent, and has been a content writer, senior examiner and local authority Key Practitioner for Humanities.

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