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Pupil report cards will include truancy

Published onsdag 11 maj 2011 kl 12.47
Jan Björklund presented the proposal at a webcast press conference

Updated 2:15 PM

Swedish Minister of Education Jan Björklund says that the incidence of truancy will be included on report cards, alongside pupils' school grades. The move comes despite the recommendations of several educational bodies.

Björklund says that truancy rates here are unacceptably high and he  is convinced that this measure will act as an effective deterrent.

He believes that parents have a right to know if their child is skipping school and points out that truancy will only be included alongside semester grades, not final school-leaving grades.

During the consultation process, however, a number concerns were expressed. These include a warning that it will be difficult to define what exactly constitutes truancy and fears of a detrimental impact on students' self-esteem.

The head of the Swedish Teachers' Union, Eva-Lis Sirén told Swedish Radio News, she does not think the changes will have an effect. "I do not think this is a measure that will reach the complex set of problems of those kids who have a really difficult social situation, who are at a stage in life when it can be the situation at home that is the main reason (for the truanting). For that you need other measures instead," she said.

These concerns have not, however, been enough to change the government's view on truancy and how to tackle it. The measure is planned to take effect from the autumn semester of 2012.

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