Ruffley challenges Secretary of State as to why Suffolk truancy figures are worse than neighbouring counties

Friday, 23 September, 2005

David Ruffley MP is concerned that Suffolk truancy figures are above the national average and higher than in Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk.

Since 1997 the Department for Education and Skills has spent £885million nationally on initiatives to reduce absence, but despite this truancy has increased. The number of pupils truanting per year has now risen by 43 percent since Labour came to power.

David said:

'These new truancy figures for Suffolk secondary schools are not good enough. There is no reason at all why they should be higher than the national average or indeed higher than in Cambridgeshire, Essex or Norfolk.

'It is staggering to me that these new figures reveal truancy to be 19 percent higher in our secondary schools than in Cambridgeshire.

'This government promised a drastic cut to truancy in 1998 and targeted a reduction of one-third in truancies by 2002. The Government has missed its targets yet again. I have today written to the Education Secretary asking why she thinks Suffolk's performance is so much worse than the neighbouring shire counties.'