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DISGRACEFUL; One in 30 primary school children miss half their lessons.

Byline: Claire Miller

HUNDREDS of primary school pupils are playing truant inCardiff eachday,alarming new figures reveal today. The capital has one of the highest rates of unauthorised absences for four to 11-year-olds inWales.

The rate in the city's primary schools is roughly equivalent to one child in every class of 30 playing truant for half the school year - about 500 pupils a day. This toll for the2009/10schoolyear equals more than 90,000 lost days.

The Vale of Glamorgan, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taff also have high unauthorised absence rates.

Experts blamed a truancy tradition in SouthWales, plus parents seeking low-cost holidays, and warned that low attendance rates may be setting children up for failure later in life.

Professor Ken Reid, who chaired an Assembly Government review into school attendance, said: "In South Wales we have third or furth generation truants. Their parents are the children of parents who were truants." More pages 4&5
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 9, 2010
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