Monday's Evening News reports that Edinburgh Council, is, for the first time, planning to prosecute parents for failing to send their children to school. I think that this sends a very clear and decisive message to parents and children that attendance at school is very important and does matter. Excellent attendance at school is essential if pupils are going to realise their potential. Additionally, developing a good work ethic in the formative years sets pupils up for life.
In the coming months, I will be looking very carefully at the attendance record of a small minority of Gillespie's pupils who are causing concern. As a rule of thumb, any pupil who is off school on more than three occasions in a session or misses more than 5 days over the course of a session should be challenged to improve. Pupils who have known medical issues, will, as is currently the case, receive the support they need to ensure that they do not fall behind in their studies. In an increasingly competitive employment market, I consider that schools have a duty to expect the highest of standards from all pupils.