Truancy sweep in Bideford area

TWENTY ONE young people have been stopped and questioned in a big truancy sweep in the Bideford area. Ten were returned to their schools for having no valid reason to be absent. The 11 others were either on holiday in Bideford or had valid reasons not t

TWENTY ONE young people have been stopped and questioned in a big truancy sweep in the Bideford area.Ten were returned to their schools for having no valid reason to be absent. The 11 others were either on holiday in Bideford or had valid reasons not to be in school.Now more truancy sweeps are being planned across North Devon.The sweep in Bideford was carried out as part of Devon County Council's continuing drive to reduce absence from school in partnership with the police and local Police Community Support Officers.Education welfare officers and the PCSOs worked together with local schools on the operation.Education Welfare Officer Amy Simnett said: "Much is being done in Devon to reduce unauthorised absence in schools."School attendance is a community issue and we are working together to ensure pupils do not miss out on education which is vital to their future."She said all schools in the Bideford area were committed to promoting good attendance and they worked hard at identifying any incidents of truancy and took appropriate prompt action."There is concern that absences - especially those condoned by parents - soon become a habit for some pupils," she added. "Pupils who play truant are not just likely to fall behind with their studies and fail to achieve their full potential. "Staying away also increases the risk of youngsters getting involved in crime and makes them vulnerable to a number of dangers which they would not be exposed to in the safe environment of their school.


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