SCHOOL attendances in across Blaenau Gwent have improved in the area in the past year, with the council calling the rise ‘satisfactory’.

A report which will be presented to members at an executive committee meeting of Blaenau Gwent council on June 4, shows the improvement in secondary and primary school attendance during the 2013/14 academic year.

The performance detailed in the report has also been shared with the Education and Skills Scrutiny Committee.

The report said it is ‘pleasing’ that at the time of February 21, 2014, all secondary schools improved their attendance with the cumulative figure standing at 92.3 per cent. This is 1.4 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Also at the same date, primary school attendance was 94.8 per cent, which is 1.9 per cent higher than the same period last year.

In all, 24 primary schools increased their attendance records, while one school, Willowtown Community Primary School in Ebbw Vale, saw a decrease in attendance during this period.

Among the primary schools, holidays decreased by 0.2 per cent across the authority. Illnesses and medicals were also down by 1.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.

Figures for secondary schools were similarly improved.

The report recommends members of the executive to consider the progress made in school attendance and request further information and/or make recommendations to further improve performance.

The report also states that in order to give additional support to schools where attendance is a concern, attendance action plans are in place in association with the EAS.

These reports are regularly monitored and reviewed with expectations on schools, Education Welfare Officers and partner agencies.

Headteachers, Education’s Senior Leadership Team and the Chair of the Recovery Board have regular reports on school attendance which allows them to monitor progress and challenge performance.

The report concludes: “Overall, it is considered that satisfactory progress has been made in improving school attendance levels.

“However, it is essential that school attendance continues to be rigorously monitored to address any issues as they arise.”

Improving attendance in schools has been identified as a priority in the council’s Corporate Improvement Plan. This acts as its business plan for the five-year period until 2017.