pupils sat at desks in school
Credit: Torfaen Council

Two Torfaen primary schools have become the latest to back the council’s Not In Miss Out attendance campaign.

Pupils from Coed Eva Primary School, in Cwmbran, and Ysgol Gymraeg Gwynllyw, in Pontypool, starred in a new film encouraging families to avoid taking holidays during term-time. 

Paul Keane, executive headteacher at Blenheim Road & Coed Eva Primary Schools, said: “Our learners very much enjoyed making the film and we are all looking forward to seeing the end result – and, more importantly, the impact it has.

“Whilst the film has a light-hearted tone, the message couldn’t be more important – we want every one of our children in school every single day so they don’t miss a thing.”

The council said that average school attendance in Torfaen increased from 88.7 per cent in February 2023 to 90.4 per cent in February this year.

This brings attendance levels across the borough, which had been among the lowest in Wales, in line with the Welsh average. 

Cllr Richard Clarke, Torfaen Council’s executive member for children, families and education, said: “It is fantastic to hear attendance rates are improving, which is thanks to the hard work of school staff, the education service and families. 

“While we understand holidays are important for families, there are already13 weeks of school holidays across the academic year. Taking children out of school for an extra week or two can have a significant impact on their attendance, and consequently their education.”

The council’s Not In Miss Out campaign was launched in November 2022 and aims to celebrate the varied benefits of going to school every day.

Absence from school for just 10 days in an academic year equates to 94.7% attendance, potentially hindering a child’s learning progress.

An unauthorised absence is recorded when the reason given for an absence has not been deemed unacceptable by the Headteacher.

A Fixed Penalty Notice of £60 can be issued when there is a minimum of ten unauthorised sessions or five school days, a child is persistently late and where parents refuse to engage with a school to improve their child’s school attendance levels. 

For more information about school attendance and the support available, visit the Torfaen Council website.