Cornwall Council have stressed the importance of school attendance following statistics revealing Cornwall's below average student attendance.

Recent figures have shown that school attendance has dropped considerably in recent years. Nationally, the absence rate for the 2022/23 school year was 7.4%, which is well above the rates of 4-5% seen pre-COVID. In Cornwall the figure is slightly higher at 8.5%. here are lots of reasons why young people choose to skip school or parents might decide not to send them. 

As well as this, it was found that nationally, 24.2% of students were described as 'persistently absent', which means they missed 10% or more half-day school sessions. However, in Cornwall this figure was significantly higher at 34.5%.

As such, Cornwall Council has stressed how important educational attendance is. Kate Evan-Hughes, service director for education and community health, said: “We understand that the start of a new school year can be a difficult time for parents. You, your child, or both of you could be experiencing a lot of anxiety about it for a multitude of reasons. 

“But these barriers must be broken down because attendance at school is key to shaping your child’s future and supporting them in achieving their dreams.  

“Daunting as it may be to tackle the issues you’re facing, there is a huge range of support available to you from the council’s Education Welfare Service and the school itself. So, if school attendance is likely to become an issue don’t hang around, speak up and seek help.” 

Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, cabinet member for children and families at Cornwall Council, added: “My message to all the children and young people out there is this: if you want to give yourself the best opportunities in life and become the best version of yourself then attending school and getting an education is vital. 

“It might be the last thing you want to do, what with all the other things going on in your life, but it really is important. So, if you find yourself wanting to skip school, talk to someone about why. Talk to a teacher. Talk to your family. Check out the tips and advice on the Start Now website, as they might have been written by someone going through the same things as you.  

“Those barriers you’re facing are there to be smashed down, and there are lots of people out there who can help you do this.”