Short breaks from school can affect exam results


Pupils taken out of school even for short breaks are less likely to achieve good results in English, maths and science, reports The Telegraph.

According to the DfE research, 44% of pupils with a full attendance record during their two-year GCSE course achieve the English Baccalaureate – a performance indicator that measures good results in traditionally academic GCSE subjects including English, maths, science, history or geography and a language.

The government says this falls by a quarter to just 31.7% for pupils who miss up to 14 days of lessons over the same two-year period, and to 16.4% for those who are absent for up to 28 days.

And it claims the same pattern can be seen at primary school level, where pupils missing up to 14 days of school in key stage 2 (ages seven to 11) are a quarter less likely to achieve level five or above in reading, writing or maths tests than those with no absence.

But campaigners for parents’ rights accused the government, which has cracked down on attendance and particularly on term-time holidays, of failing to take into account different reasons for absence and their differing impact on pupil outcomes.

Education secretary, Nicky Morgan, said: “The myth that pulling a child out of school for a holiday is harmless to their education has been busted by this research.

“Today, heads across the country have been vindicated – missing school can have a lasting effect on a pupil’s life chances.

“This is why we are doing all we can to encourage more pupils back into class by toughening up on term-time holidays and attendance.

“Heads and teachers are now firmly back in charge of their classrooms thanks to our plan for education and new flexibility over term dates allows them to set term breaks outside of peak times.”

School Leadership Today