Secondary school pupils in parts of Welshpool have the highest repeat school absence rate Powys, latest research has shown.

In Welshpool Castle, 17.1 per cent of pupils have had repeat absences in 2019.

This latest data, released by the Welsh Government last Thursday, is recorded to identify the small areas of Wales that are the most deprived.

Welshpool Castle also came up top in Powys when it came to education as a whole in the 2019 Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation. It also came third in the county when it came to deprivation overall; behind Ystradgynlais 1 and Newtown South.

Welshpool Castle’s secondary school pupil repeat absence rate is over double the Welsh average, which sits at 7.4 per cent.

County Times:

However, when it comes to repeated primary school absences, the ward doesn’t buck the national trend. In Welshpool Castle, 4 per cent of pupils have had repeat absences. In Wales, it’s 3.9 per cent. Overall, absence rates are far higher for secondary school pupils.

A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “Parents or carers have a legal responsibility for making sure that their child attends school. Where there are cases of regular absenteeism, education officers work with the school and parents/carers to ensure that the child attends school regularly.

“If absences continue, the council has the powers to fine or prosecute parents but these powers would only be used as a last resort.”

The County Times has submitted a Freedom of Information request asking how many times the council has prosecuted over school absences.

Other factors used to measure the levels of deprivation in education as a whole are: per cent of Key Stage 4 leavers entering higher education; per cent of adults aged 25 to 64 with no qualifications, and average point scores for Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4.