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The Welsh Government has described Estyn's report into school attendance as "encouraging."
It says it has targeted attendance with increased investment, and including attendance within the banding system for rating secondary schools gives parents "a clear picture of how schools are performing."
Huw Davies, author of today's Estyn report on school attendance, says that vulnerable pupils and those eligible for free school meals are most likely to be persistently absent from school.
He told our reporter Tom Sheldrick that schools succeeding in battling absenteeism work well with parents, pupils, and other local support services.
Poor attendance is still a problem at nearly a third of secondary schools in Wales, according to a report published today by the education watchdog Estyn.
It says absenteeism has improved over the last five years, but more needs to be done.
Key findings from Estyn's report include:
- Pupils that are persistently absent now account for a quarter of all absence
- Absence rates for pupils eligible for free school meals are nearly twice those of other pupils
- Less than half of schools analyse well enough why pupils miss school
Among the watchdog's recommendations to schools are improving their use of attendance data, strengthening links with external groups that help support families, and engaging more with pupils.
Estyn also recommends local councils should provide schools with more training on attendance - and the Welsh Government should provide clarity on where responsibility for attendance lies between local authorities and regional consortia.