Greenwich has the highest Primary truancy levels

Newly released figures show that Greenwich has the highest level of Primary level truancy in London and the UK. Sadly it would appear that the situation is only getting worse, this despite the Labour government spending over £885m on its flagship "behaviour and attendance strategy" since 1997.

What is concerning is that a habit of truancy could form in young children who then continue to be truant throughout all of their education. The table below shows Greenwich's truancy rates.

Area

2004-5

2005-6

Greenwich

1.16

1.33

London Average

0.72

0.76

England Average

0.43

0.46

*These figures are the percentage of all absent without permission half days

The figures released in the Evening Standard show that the situation is getting worse in Greenwich, and across the whole of London, neighbouring Lewisham however was the only council in which the levels of truancy did not worsen.

Perhaps this is yet another indication that spending money is not the answer to all solutions, improving schools and interaction with the local police and social workers is key to not only making sure children go to school but also making sure that children want to go to school.