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  1. Christine Alsford, Social Affairs Correspondent

Teachers using truancy bus to round-up absent pupils

A Hampshire school is taking drastic measures to encourage students not to play truant.

The headteacher and his assistant drive around in a mini bus, confronting teenagers who should be in class - and trying to persuade them to accept the offer of a lift to school.

Attendance has long been right at the top of the government's education agenda.

Statistics point to the strong link between being in lessons and achieving well. Pupils with the lowest absence rates are nearly five times more likely to get at least five good grades including English and Maths at GCSE.

Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford was given exclusive access to a school's attendance bus and its groundbreaking work in Southampton.

Here is the first of her three special reports about a school working hard to ensure Every Day Counts:

Tackling truancy in Basingstoke

Basingstoke has been chosen as part of a pilot scheme to tackle truancy in the town. Hampshire County Council and the police say they'll be working together - as part of a 'supporting families' initiative - to crack down on unauthorised school absences.

Basingstoke's attendance rates are above the national average, but the council says there is a small minority of children who are persistently absent from school, and they'll be working with both children, and parents.

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