Thursday, May 26, 2011

Unauthorised Absences up!

The papers don't understand the difference between truancy (kids bunking off to drink cider in the park or rob your house) and Unauthorised Absences, which are the kids who are away from school without the Head's permission (ie the above crowd plus those who are out shopping with their parents, sunning themselves on holiday in Spain or attending the religious festivals of a country that their family has come here to get away from).

Despite what this article claims, all we really know is that Unauthorised Absences have risen to an average of 64 000 a day for the Autumn 2010 term. This is simply because Heads have stopped authorising as many term time holiday requests. That's all there is to it, I'm afraid.

I don't like it when I can't justify a Daily Mail style rant, so instead let's have a laugh at Louise Bamfield, spokeswoman from Barnardo's. She wants to know 'the reasons why the persistent absentees are so averse to being in the classroom'. Well I can help her out: it's because they can have a lot more fun running around causing mayhem than they can sitting quietly, learning things and answering questions.


When there is no real punishment for bunking off, it's amazing more kids don't do it.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Note to Louise Bamfield: discipline does not "treat the symptoms and not the cause", because lack of discipline IS the cause. One of the most important things that you learn from school is that sometimes you have to do things that you would rather not.

Note to Frank Chalk: there is a punishment for persistant truancy; you will never lead a happy and fulfilled life.

Dack said...

In my day we truanted and nobody gave a shite. Look where it got me - in school until I'm 60. Or 84. Or I go to the big detention in the sky the way retirement ages are going.

Don said...

What always amazes me is why on earth anyone thinks that sending parents to jail is a suitable way of tackling truancy. If the basic problem is that they're incapable of making sure their offspring get to school every day, how on earth are they supposed to do it from inside a jail cell? It's difficult to imagine a more counter-productive way of tackling the problem.

English Pensioner said...

As usual with most government statistics, the figure of 64,000 absences a day is meaningless.
There is a vast difference between say a class of thirty pupils having one pupil absent each day, and the class having the same pupil absent each day. To be meaningful, statistics are required showing the lengths of absences for pupils, and also whether the days absent were continuous.
Statistics can be manipulated to show what is wanted, the only valid interpretation is that given by a qualified statistician. (I know, because as an engineer, I'd been known to manipulate fault reports to show my group in a different light, and no admin type caught on!)

Hideki said...

Talking of absences, what's happened to the poster who impersonates me? Maybe Camping was right after all and the bounder has been Ruptered.

Rstoff said...

In my experience, persistent truants are often the ones you don't want in your class anyway. The morons from crap families generally speaking however:

Never have a day off because their parents don't want them at home, making schools a gloryfied babysitting scheme.

Only come to school when it's raining.

Rstoff said...

The parents who take their holidays in term time have my complete agreement. Until holiday firms are made to stop ripping people off by tripling the cost of holidays in termtime, they should carry on.

Mind you the government did set up an inquiry consisting of Ministers and ABTA... Hahahah!!

Anonymous said...

It's not a rip off, it's simple economics.

If you have a fixed supply of a product which costs you whether you sell it or not, you charge full price when demand is high and discount when demand is low to minimse wasted capacity.

If you are forced to charge a fixed price, you cut back the supply to minimse wasted capacity. That would mean that maybe half of the families wanting to travel in the school holidays would be unable to do so because there would be no rooms or plane seats available.

That what you want?

Hideki said...

I thought that word, 'ruptered' looked wrong when I typed it. Of course, it should be, 'Ruptured'.

Peter Sykes said...

As a point of interest: does anybody know the prcentage of truanting children who are in the care of the local authority? If the risk of imprisonment threatens parents do managers of children's homes enjoy immunity from prosecution?

Kimpatsu said...

...attending the religious festivals of a country that their family has come here to get away from...
Could you expand on this, Frank? It sounds suspiciously like you're making an enemy of me...

P Blackheart said...

What is possibly more of a concern - note use of possibly - is the massaging of stats that goes on in schools Outstanding or otherwise. My own experience suggests that the number of kids bunking off is probably much higher for fear of an instead visit from the Nannies from Ofsted.

Lilyofthefield said...

PBlackheart, there are low rumblings in our school (top ten nationally for truancy!) about the number of times an Absent mark is mysteriously replaced with a Present mark later in the day by persons suspected but unknown. A teacher on the verge of retirement has been keeping a record.