MORE than 2,000 secondary school pupils missed at least 11 days of school in the autumn term.
The Department for Education has published school absence rates for the first academic term which showed 6.7 per cent of pupils at state schools in Oxfordshire had missed a high amount of school time.
Oxfordshire is the fourth worst in the South East, against a national average of 5.9 per cent.
However, at primary school level, only 3.4 per cent missed a similar amount of school days, meaning the county has an absence rate of 4.7 per cent – the same as the national average.
Nationally, the percentage of pupils absent during the autumn term for 22 or more sessions (half a day) has fallen from 10.3 per cent in 2009.
Of the 7,379 four-year-olds who started school in September, the county had an average absence rate of 5.4 per cent – slightly higher than the national average of 5.3 per cent.
There are 72,645 children at state schools in the county, of which 30,389 attend secondary school.
Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley said: “This is on our radar. We do have a system for keeping an eye on it.
“We have a meeting tomorrow about attendance and behaviour so I am sure we will discuss this. We are trying to get to grips with it.”
Liberal Democrat spokesman for education John Howson said with a large number of secondary schools now being academies, there was little the authority could do to improve the figures.
He said: “These figures are only for one term, but it is a key period for teaching and learning, and last winter was mild, so schools need to examine why absence is so high in Oxfordshire, and ensure it doesn’t affect educational outcomes.
“We will not build a skills based economy on children missing schooling to this extent.”
Our top stories:
6:30am Tuesday 1st December 2015
THE gun has been fired for next year’s Oxford Mail OX5 Run.
9:00am Tuesday 1st December 2015
AN Oxford University student who told a teenager in a nightclub he wanted to assault and rape her was just making a joke inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey, a court heard.
8:30am Tuesday 1st December 2015
PEOPLE in Headington fear they may be unable to access their homes by car for weeks at a time after health bosses revealed the full extent of their plans for an inter-hospital heating pipe.
8:00am Tuesday 1st December 2015
WHEN David Hunt walks into the first day of his job as manager of the new Rose Hill community centre today he will start putting the finishing touches to the building before it opens next month.
6:00am Tuesday 1st December 2015
A MAN who escaped from a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a “physically and emotionally abusive” wife has told of his battle to heal the trauma he suffered.
8:00am Monday 30th November 2015
OXFORD’S five tower blocks are about to undergo the biggest makeover in their 50-year existence.
8:30am Saturday 28th November 2015
ROAD safety campaigners say they are “astonished” that drivers with as many as 51 points on their licences are still allowed on the county’s roads.
9:00am Saturday 28th November 2015
YOUNGSTERS at an Oxfordshire primary school could finally be able to tuck into their hot dinners in a dining hall after the Prime Minister came to their aid.
8:00am Saturday 28th November 2015
BAYS in Frideswide Square will be “tweaked” after bus companies complained they were too small to safely accommodate vehicles.
6:30am Saturday 28th November 2015
IT HAS called Cowley Road home for the past 90 years, but on Monday family-run Oxford timber merchant W G Powell will close its doors for the last time.
6:00am Saturday 28th November 2015
ALL over Oxfordshire thousands of older people are fighting one of the cruellest but hardest-to-spot maladies of all: loneliness.
12:09pm Friday 27th November 2015
TWO men have been arrested in connection with the murder of Kerry Reeves, 26, in Abingdon earlier this month.
7:00am Friday 27th November 2015
TRAFFIC jams are now so bad in Oxford concrete is setting in the back of delivery lorries.
9:00am Friday 27th November 2015
FORGET Frozen and park the Playstation... traditional toys are back with a bang this Christmas.