Commenting on the latest statistical release from Government on pupil attendance in schools, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“With persistent absence rates remaining high it is clear that the government need a quicker and more effective approach to addressing the underlying issues leading to more children regularly missing school.
“Tackling the increasing waiting times for specialist SEND and mental health support is now essential. The rollout of the attendance hubs and mental health support teams is too slow to effectively support the majority of young people and families who reach a crisis point, leading to school absence, before any intervention takes place.
“Schools have been picking up the pieces of a broken SEND system and child poverty crisis for too long now and with their own resources under increasing pressure can no longer continue to deliver the core education services, pick up the work of SEND and mental health professionals and offer social services support to their students.
“These figures should be a wake-up call to government to look at the wider issues affecting attendance.”