City schools have worst truancy rates in the region

The equivalent of more than 4,000 school days were missed by pupils at Merseyside’s worst offending site for truancy last year.

According to Department for Education attendance figures, students at Dixons Croxteth Academy had an unauthorised absence rate of 14% through the autumn and spring terms during the school year 2022-23. This was higher than any other primary or secondary school across the whole of Merseyside last year.

The data indicated how more than 1.5 million pupils missed at least 10% of lessons last year nationally.

Dixons other two schools in Liverpool were also repeat offenders for high absence rates, with 13.1% recorded in Broadgreen. It was revealed earlier this week how RAAC was identified at the school during government inspections amid the ongoing crisis.

A further 12.8% of sessions were missed at Dixons Fazakerley Academy, while around 10% were skipped at Saint Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Academy, Knowsley (10.8%) and The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (10.0%), and Gateacre School (9.4%). A session is defined as half a day of school.

The Hanson Academy in Bradford had the worst truancy rate of any state-run primary or secondary school in England last year. Walsall Studio School had the next highest rate at 16%.

A total of 22 schools in England reported no unauthorised absences whatsoever. The largest of those was St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School in Milton Keynes.

Dixons Academy Trust – which manages 17 locations across the country including three in Liverpool – took over the former De La Salle school in Croxteth amid months of uncertainty and fear about a possible closure. The school had been issued with a Termination Warning Notice from the DfE last summer after two consecutive inadequate Ofsted inspections.

It serves more than 300 boys aged 11-18 on Carr Lane East. It officially became part of the Trust’s umbrella of schools in November last year.

The remaining schools are based across the North West and Yorkshire, with 11 secondary academies, 3 primaries, 2 all-through academies and a standalone sixth form academy across the group. These include Dixons City Academy in Bradford, the first school of the portfolio to open, in 1990.

Dixons Academy Trust declined to comment.

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