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Welsh Government “lamentably slow” in addressing attendance and behaviour in schools – Aled Roberts

August 8, 2013 9:41 AM

Commenting on the Children and Young People Committee's report on their inquiry into attendance and behaviour, Aled Roberts AM, said:

"This report has highlighted once again that there is a considerable shortfall in the ability of the Welsh Government to deliver on its policies.

"The Committee was extremely concerned with the "slow and patchy progress" there has been in addressing attendance and behaviour in Wales, despite a number of previous inquiries, reviews and plans going back to 2008.

"I remain committed to seeing our recommendations being put into practice, particularly those which relate to early intervention with pupils.

"In many cases, the reasons for bad behaviour or non-attendance can be linked to communication difficulties or additional learning needs, and training teachers to better identify those needs is crucial to improving matters, as is getting the regional consortia more involved.

"Increasing numbers of youngsters are being sent to Pupil Referral Units, but this is not the answer - we need to understand why they are misbehaving or not going to school and work co-operatively to find solutions.

"As for financial penalties for non-attendance, I remain convinced that this is a totally counter-productive idea which will cause economic hardship and do nothing to address the problems of a child missing vital school hours.

"Given the lamentably slow progress by the Government over the last five years, I will expect to see significant improvement when the Committee monitors the results of this inquiry before the conclusion of this Assembly Term."