Commenting on Attendance, Absence and Exclusion in Dundee Schools

Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland 2014/15
The Report before the Children and Families' Service Committee on Monday 22 August 2016 about Attendance, Absence and Exclusion in our schools has some progress to report. I think it is important to recognise that the trends on attendance rates and exclusions are at last moving in a positive direction.  

There is however, clearly much to be done particularly in reducing the rate of exclusion of looked after children in our City.   In the latest figures, the exclusion rate for looked after children is 15% compared with non-looked after children at 2%. This cannot be right.  On Monday night therefore, I want to hear more about how we are going to narrow this gap.

One of the other issues which is not mentioned in the report is about lateness. Unfortunately persistent lateness is still an issue for a significant number of pupils in our primary and secondary schools. I know some of our schools have specific initiatives to try and break the cycle of starting school late and thereby disrupting learning several days in every week. In future, I think lateness should also be reported along with attendance, absence and exclusion.

Finally, I think parents and carers whose children attend regularly and punctually and are not excluded would like to know more about how our schools are providing constructive alternatives to exclusion within school in a way that does not disrupt the learning of the majority of pupils who want to learn.