PARENTS must force absent Covid kids back to class — or they face a lifetime of being left behind, the schools minister warned today.
Nick Gibb urged families to send their children in to school for the new term, even if they have a cough or a cold.
Parernts must force absent Covid kids back to class — or they face a lifetime of being left behind, the schools minister warned[/caption]
He told The Sun that if they continue to skip school, they face a serious impact on their education and social skills.
Urging parents to “take a stand on absenteeism”, he says the Government can only help so much to encourage those who abandoned school during lockdowns to return.
Mr Gibb rallied mums and dads, saying: “We all have to do our bit to make sure children are where they should be.”
He added: “Persistent absenteeism has a serious long-term impact on any child’s life prospects, but it has a disproportionately damaging one on those already struggling with disadvantage.
“Even one day off could have a detrimental effect on a child’s education.
“We need parents themselves to take a stand on absenteeism. You can call it a social contract, if you like, between parents and schools.”
Nearly one in four (22.3 per cent) of children are persistently absent from school — missing more than one in ten days — since the pandemic, government figures reveal.
And the overall absence rate is currently 10.7 per cent across all schools — both authorised and unauthorised.
After teen students got their GCSE results last week, Mr Gibb said the gap between kids “left behind” and their peers has grown since Covid.
And he said: “Multiply a couple of missed school days over a sustained period, and [it] could have a serious impact on their GCSE results and social skills.
“It’s fine to send your child to school with a minor cough or common cold.”