Pupil absence at Jewish state schools above national average
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Pupil absence at Jewish state schools above national average

Figures obtained by Jewish News show recorded absences at six Jewish state secondary schools were broadly higher than the national rate during the last full academic year.

Government maintained Jewish secondary schools in England broadly lagged behind the national absence average during the 2020/21 school year. Stock image: Alamy.
Government maintained Jewish secondary schools in England broadly lagged behind the national absence average during the 2020/21 school year. Stock image: Alamy.

Pupil absences at state-funded Jewish secondary schools were  generally higher than the national average during the last full academic year, figures obtained by Jewish News reveal.

Department for Education statistics show an average of 3.4 percent absence recorded as authorised and 1.3 unauthorised across years seven to 11 in 3,400 government maintained secondary schools in England during the 2020/21 school year.

A Freedom of Information request sent to Jewish state secondaries in the wake of the government’s new Schools Bill, unveiled last month in the Queen’s Speech, shows them broadly lagging behind the national average on attendance.

Six Jewish schools, Yavneh College, JCoSS, JFS, King Solomon High School and Hasmonean Boys’ and Girls’ schools had higher authorised absences (AA) in 2020/21 than the 3.4 percent national average.

Yavneh College was twice as high at 6.8 percent, JCoSS at 5.0 percent, JFS 3.38 percent, King Solomon High School 4.44 percent, Hasmonean Boys’ school 4.63 percent and Hasmonean Girls’ school 4.01 percent.

Three Jewish state schools had unauthorised absences (UA) above the national average of 1.3 percent. JFS was 3.71 percent, King Solomon High School 3.46 percent and Hasmonean Boys’ school 1.80 percent.

Hasmonean Girls’ school at 1.29 percent, JCoSS at 0.9 percent and Yavneh College at 0.42 percent were below the UA average.

King David High School in Liverpool did not provide figures.

Six Jewish schools, Yavneh College, JCoSS, JFS, King Solomon High School and Hasmonean Boys’ and Girls’ schools had higher authorised absences (AA) in 2020/21 than the national average.

After analysing the numbers, one leading Jewish educator emphasised that unauthorised absence does not necessarily mean truancy but rather covers a range of circumstances. He added: “There is also an element of discretion in how schools code absences, so it is risky to compare one school with another or with national figures.

“Truancy rates is an outdated and imprecise term. Does it mean wilful non-attendance or simply unauthorised absence which includes everything from occasions when a parent forgot to write a note, to emergency term-time visits to dying relatives in Israel? Or does it mean parents keeping their children at home due to covid anxiety, or home schooling absence?”

JCoSS Secondary School.

The academic year 2020/21 was dramatically impacted by the pandemic with full closures and phased returns until the spring. These numbers do not include forced absence due to Covid.

After reviewing the figures Rabbi David Meyer, chief executive of Partnerships for Jewish Schools, said: “Attendance at school is an essential aspect in the education of children and repeated absences can significantly impact on student progress. Small variances are to be expected, however parents are primarily responsible for their child’s attendance and these figures do underscore the essential role that parents play in the education of their children.”

Six Jewish schools, Yavneh College, JCoSS, JFS, King Solomon High School and Hasmonean Boys’ and Girls’ schools had higher authorised absences (AA) in 2020/21 than the 3.4 percent national average.

The government unveiled its new Schools Bill in last month’s Queen’s Speech, under which England’s schools would be required to publish an attendance policy and maintain a compulsory register for children who are not in classrooms so authorities can identify those not receiving full-time education.

The bill also aims to crack down on truancy, beef up the powers of education watchdogs and reform the funding system in new legislation to create “a school system that works for every child”.

Education Secretary Nadim Zahawi said: “These measures will ensure pupils benefit from every possible hour in the classroom and will create a school system that works for every child, parent and family, bringing every school up to our current best standards.

Yavneh College.

“We are determined to raise standards in our schools so every child has access to the same opportunities wherever they live, and our brilliant teachers are supported to do what they do best, which is why we’re putting our education ambition into law.”

He added: “By giving every child a good education, we’re giving them the opportunity to thrive so they can reach their full potential and secure the jobs needed, this is absolutely vital to our levelling up mission.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments