Class-skipping pupils targeted by new bill

Class-skipping pupils targeted by new bill
Minister for Education Jan Björklund has presented a legislative proposal that would enable truancy to be displayed in the grade reports of all school goers.

The Liberal Party leader, who introduced a comparable system during his time as Stockholm education chief, is calling for truancy details to be included nationwide in the term reports of primary school pupils as well as the cumulative grade reports of high school pupils.

“It’s not acceptable for adults to come and go as they please in the workplace and the same should apply to pupils at school. Pupils should be present at classes; the level of truancy today is unacceptably high,” said Björklund at a Monday morning press conference.

The government is proposing that all schools outline the number of classes or hours missed by a pupil in a given term, even at the upper high school, or gymnasium, level.

“Although gymnasium is a voluntary school form, if you have applied to a gymnasium and received a place then you should also participate in classes,” said Björklund.

Björklund told reporters that pupils skipped classes for many reasons but added it was often a sign of a broader malaise.

“Being able to identify that a pupil is not doing well at an early stage and offer support represents an investment in our schools and society, but primarily it’s an investment in the individual,” said Björklund.

If passed, the government’s proposal will come into force in spring 2011 as part of a wider education package. The first truancy reports will appear at the end of the autumn school term in 2011.

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