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TOUGHER LINE ON TRUANTS; Schools to discuss new ideas.

SCHOOL truants in Rugby Rugby, town, England
Rugby, town (1991 pop. 59,039), Warwickshire, central England. An important railroad junction and engineering center, Rugby is the seat of one of England's most esteemed public schools.
 are to be targeted in a hard-hitting initiative developed by Warwickshire Warwickshire (wŏ`rĭkshĭr), county (1991 pop. 477,000), 975 sq mi (2,525 sq km), central England. The county seat is Warwick. The terrain is gently rolling, with outcroppings of the Cotswold Hills in the south.  education chiefs.

The county has pledged to reduce truancy levels by a further third by 2002 through a series of schemes to support schools.

Warwickshire's truancy figures are already below the national level. Options being considered to further improve attendance levels include the appointment and management of attendance assistants, trained under a partnership with the county's education social work service.

All schools are likely to be given extra money to fight truancy, but ideas being considered include:

Repayment of the cash if the school's target is not reached.

Schools with above average truancy would pay into a fund to support a small legal team targeting truancy through the legal process and new legal enforcement powers.

lA fund to support a centralised Adj. 1. centralised - drawn toward a center or brought under the control of a central authority; "centralized control of emergency relief efforts"; "centralized government"
 early response team to target pupils as soon as they start truanting.

Consultation will start next month to discuss the ideas, which have been given a cautious welcome by Mark Braine Braine   , John 1922-1986.

British writer whose best-selling novel Room at the Top (1957) established him as one of Britain's Angry Young Men.
, head teacher of Avon Valley School The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College is a self-governed specialist school in the British town of Rugby, Warwickshire. The school is non-selective, catering for students aged 11-16.  in Newbold Newbold can refer to: People
  • Charles Newbold, inventor
  • Gregory S. Newbold, U.S. general
  • Walton Newbold, British Member of Parliament
  • Joshua G.
 Road, Rugby.

Mr Braine said truancy was not a major problem at his school but it was dealt with very directly. He would support any option of firm legal action against parents.

Mr Braine said: "I would hope any of these proposals is backed up by a firm policy of prosecuting parents of non-attenders.

"I would be less happy with any school budget being intercepted to pay for services which the authority should be providing for anyway."

County education officer Eric ERIC Educational Research Information Clearinghouse
ERIC Educational Resources Information Center
ERIC ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC Epidemiologic Research and Information Center (Durham, NC) 
 Wood will explain the options at a meeting on June 6 of the county's special educational needs policy advisory group.

Mr Wood said: "By offering a flexible range of options, schools will be able to choose the system which suits them best and ensure that available resources are used effectively."
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Author:Hutson, Andrew
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 27, 2000
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