Thousands persistently missing school lessons in Leeds

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THERE were more than 4,000 Leeds school pupils who were persistently absent from lessons in the last academic year, new Government figures reveal.

The Department for Education has published tables showing the number of school sessions missed by pupils.

A student is classed as being persistently absent if they miss 15 per cent of more of their education.

This includes absences that are authorised by the school such as illness and those which are unauthorised - such as pupils’ playing truant or parents taking children on holiday during term time.

Figures show that in Leeds in 2014/15 there were 4,080 pupils who were persistently absent - 4.2 per cent of the city’s school population.

This was higher than the national average of 3.7 per cent. The new figures also show that 3.9 per cent of lessons were missed by pupils in Leeds primary schools. Just over one per cent of lessons were missed through unauthorised absence.

In secondary schools 5.2 per cent of lessons were missed in Leeds and two per cent were missed because of unauthorised absence. This compared to the national average of 5.3 per cent of secondary schools lessons missed with 1.3 per cent through unauthorised absence.