Shetland is in the top 25 per cent of local authority areas when it comes to school attendance, a meeting of the education and families committee heard today.
Schools executive manager Shona Thompson reported that Shetland has a 94.4 per cent attendance rate across all age groups, and pointed out that making sure a child goes to school is a parental duty.
Mrs Thompson said that a record of attendance is also now kept in nursery classes, which North Isles councillor Laura Baisley welcomed, saying it was “good news” which could facilitate early intervention in case of problems.
Changes to the school term have helped improve the attendance record at Shetland schools, Mrs Thompson said. Now that the October break is two-and-a-half weeks (including in-service training days) and the Easter break is two weeks, parents are less likely to take their children out of school to extend the holidays.
The practice of closing at lunch time at the end of term has also been stopped. “It made it difficult for [working] parents,” Mrs Thompson said.