Shadow Education Minister for Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas has backed policies to support pupils and families to tackle absence from schools, rather than introduce penalties such as fining parents.
On Thursday the Children and Young People Committee is reviewing the effectiveness of the Welsh Government’s policy and guidance to promote positive behaviour and attendance within education provision for pupils of compulsory school age.
Professor Ken Reid is giving evidence to Assembly Members. Professor Reid was the former chair of the Welsh Government National Attendance and Behaviour Review.
Shadow Education Minister Simon Thomas said: “A Plaid Cymru Government would consider approaches such as the use of home school liaison officers to tackle absenteeism, so policies support pupils and their families, rather than penalise them by fining them. There is a correlation between areas of high deprivation and high levels of absenteeism.”
The Mid and West AM added: “There is a wider culture of pupils missing school and lessons for holidays. However, if children fall behind they can often struggle to catch up. The Party of Wales believes that we need to change this culture and also give teachers the support they need. One important aspect the Welsh Government should review is the literacy levels of those pupils not attending classes.”