ASCL Cymru comment on independent review into attendance statistics in Welsh schools

14/10/2021
Eithne Hughes, Director of ASCL Cymru, comments on the Education Minister’s written statement announcing an independent review into attendance statistics in Welsh schools.
 
Commenting on the Education Minister’s written statement announcing an independent review into attendance statistics in Welsh schools, Eithne Hughes, Director of ASCL Cymru, said:
 
The Education Minister’s announcement today of an independent review is welcome news because we have been scratching our heads for weeks trying to make sense of the attendance statistics, which bear no resemblance to the real situation in schools across Wales.
 
“Our members are reporting significant disruption to education caused by rapidly rising coronavirus infections among both learners and staff, whereas the official statistics seem to show an improving picture. 
 
“Statistics Wales has conceded that the percentage figures it produces for learners absent from school for Covid-related reasons does not include all coronavirus-related absence. It is therefore very difficult for those working in the education system to know or understand the true picture in our schools.
 
“We welcome the Education Minister’s recognition that there is a fundamental issue with the way the statistics are collated and hope the problem can be urgently rectified. It is imperative that everyone in education in Wales has accurate data at their fingertips to fully understand the situation in our schools
.”