03:06AM, Thursday 21 March 2013
Absence rates at schools in the Royal Borough are among the lowest in England, according to new figures released by the Department for Education (DfE).
Statistics for the 2011/12 academic year show combined absence figures for primary and secondary schools in the borough stood at 4.7 per cent, ranking the area joint sixth for attendance out of 152 local authorities.
The figures were down from 5.2 per cent in 2010/11 and well below the national average of 5.1 per cent.
Primary school absences fell from 4.4 per cent to 3.9 per cent, while secondary school absences have dropped to 5.3 per cent from 5.9 per cent.
Cllr Phill Bicknell, cabinet member for children's services, said: "These figures show a very encouraging pattern and we hope that, with the continued pro-active engagement of young people in education and the support of parents and carers, we will keep on seeing a downward trend."
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A teenager who died after getting into difficulty in the Jubilee River has been described as a ‘gentle giant’ in a tribute from his school.