AQW 831/17-22

Mr Roy Beggs
Ulster Unionist Party
East Antrim

Tabled Date: 23/01/2020
Answered On Date: 04/02/2020
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister of Education to detail (i) the rate per thousand of primary school pupils with a less than 85 percent attendance in 2018/19, broken down by (a) constituency; (b) electoral ward by constituency; and (ii) the action being taken to reduce the levels of absenteeism.

(i) Due to resource issues within the Department of Education, Analytical Services Unit, attendance data for the academic year 2018/19 were not processed and published. It is envisaged that attendance data for the academic year 2019/20 will be processed and published in January 2021.
I have arranged for comparable data for 2017/18 to be placed in the Assembly Library.
(ii) I launched the pupil attendance strategy “Miss School = Miss Out” in December 2016 which provides a strategic framework for all the work that goes into maximising pupil attendance at schools. The four key themes identified within that strategy continue to be relevant today; strategic leadership; early intervention; tailored support and collaboration and engagement.
Actions are being progressed in numerous ways by the Department of Education, Education Authority, Education Welfare Service, schools, families and children.
A case studies good practice guide “The Challenge of Improving Pupil Attendance at School” was published by the Department in December 2018.