One in three secondary school pupils is skipping school.
Although ministers have spent £1billion trying to tackle truancy, figures show that almost a million children, aged 11 and over, dodged some of their lessons in the last school year.
Almost 220,000 “persistent absentees” miss the equivalent of nearly two days a week through truancy, illness or term-time holidays.
And the problem is much worse than previously thought. A new system of collecting data has found that truancy levels are 18 per cent higher than previous Government statistics showed. The difference amounts to an extra 7,000 skipping school every day.
£1bn later, a third of pupils are still skipping school