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Caithness News Bulletins January 2003

January 2003 Caithness.org News 2002

Dec 2002

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DIRECTOR RENEWS PLEA TO PARENTS

The Highland Councilís Director of Education Culture and Sport Bruce Robertson has renewed his plea to parents of all Highland pupils to urge them not to take holidays during the school term so the council can raise standards of achievement, part of which is targeted at reducing absences from schools.

While the vast majority of parents plan family holidays within the allocated 12 weeks during the year, he is concerned there has been a continuing trend for some parents to remove pupils from schools for holidays.

He appreciates that for some parents, summer is a very busy time and a holiday cannot be taken then but suggests they consider using the two week October holiday period.

He says keeping children off school for a family holiday: -

  • will result in a significant loss in classroom experience;

  • will result in a pressure to "catch up" on missed work by pupils;

  • could result in pupils missing assessments with consequential impact on pupils and teachers;

  • could result in the loss of extra curricular activities;

  • will affect school attendance records and efforts to raise standards of attendance.

Mr Robertson said: "I wrote to parents in early 2000 to make them aware of my concerns about absenteeism due to holidays. I am disappointed that over the past three years, little improvement has been recorded. I would urge parents to consider seriously any plans to take their children away on holiday during the school session."