Ofsted: Pupil Absence Rates - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:57 pm on 13 February 2024.

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Photo of Lord Baker of Dorking Lord Baker of Dorking Conservative 2:57, 13 February 2024

My Lords, when children of 14 decide to leave their school and go to a university technical college, their absence rate falls dramatically compared to that at their previous school. They like going to a UTC because they can work in workshops as well as classrooms, they can learn by their hands as well as their brains, and they visit companies looking for jobs. I assure your Lordships that, unless that sort of education is deeply embedded, the absence rates of disadvantaged students will not fall, because they are told all the time by the Department for Education that they must study eight academic subjects. We need a curriculum fitted to this century.