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Education Unauthorised holidays account for a million missed school days in Scotland

CHILDREN in Scotland missed nearly a million days of school due to unauthorised holidays in 2016-17, according to new analysis by Scottish Labour.

Figures showed that 0.7 per cent of pupils missed school due to unauthorised holidays in the last year, up from 0.5 per cent in 2014-15.

Labour calculate this amounts to 910,272 lost school days last year. When truancy and other forms of unauthorised absence are included, the total is two million, the party said.

Education spokesman Iain Gray said: “These figures should be a cause of concern for any government that wants to close the attainment gap on our classrooms, a huge amount of school days are being lost.

Under section 38 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, an education authority can issue attendance orders. If parents do not comply, they can face prosecution and a fine or imprisonment.

“Policymakers in the Scottish government should be asking themselves why there has been such a sharp increase in these unauthorised absences and the knock-on effect that will have on young people getting the skills they need.”

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