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Rockhampton and Livingstone region among worst for wagging

ROCKHAMPTON region students are among the state's worst waggers, missing a century and a half of school since 2010.

Rockhampton-Livingstone region had the 11th highest level of absences out of the state's 75 council areas.

The region's primary and secondary pupils missed 55,925 days of schools between January 2010 and December 2014.

This adds up to 152.59 years of lost education.

An APN Newsdesk analysis of State Government data reveals unexplained, unauthorised and "other" absences accounted for 23,087 days missed and illness came second on 15,342.

Un-gazetted holidays were responsible for 8039 days off and 4457 absences were the result of disciplinary action.

Of the region's 40 public schools, North Rockhampton State High had the highest rate of absences with 2528 days lost over the five years.

Thursday was the most popular day off with 11,679 missed.

Education Minister Kate Jones said parents must take responsibility for making sure their children went to school.

"We want every child to be in class every school day and families, particularly parents, play a critical role ensuring children attend school," Ms Jones said.

"It's important parents develop routines for regular on-time school attendance because it will set their children up for success."

Queensland Secondary Principals' Association president Andrew Pierpont said children who continually missed school would pay for it later in life.

"Missing small amounts of time regularly can have a long-term effect," Mr Pierpont said.

"There's a great deal of research around students missing school. It affects their reading age and that will affect their employability and lead to other types of social impacts."

He said absenteeism was everyone's problem.

"The target should always be 100% attendance," Mr Pierpont said.

"Everyone needs to realise that improving attendance is about the school working with the kids and working with their parents and their families and working with the community as well.

"It's not a real quick fix in most situations. It's about steady improvements."

Topics:  education school wagging



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