Stretched budgets, deprivation and exclusions have all been touted as reasons for attendance at Greenwich schools falling below the rest of England.

Pupils in the borough are ‘persistently absent’ from class more than the country’s average, according to new data.

A child is defined as persistently absent when their attendance drops below 90 per cent.

Nearly one in 10 primary school kids are regularly missing school, with Greenwich registering 9.2 per cent compared to an average of 8.6 per cent.

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For secondary school kids, 13.9 per cent are always missing school, compared to the average of of 13.4 per cent.

In both cases, and in line with the rest of the country, the trend has gone upwards.

According to a new report, set to be discussed next week, there are a number of possible reasons that attendance has been getting worse.

Officers said: “Exclusions have increased both nationally and locally over the last three years.

“The rate of fixed-term exclusion in Greenwich continues to be higher than

other London boroughs.

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“Stretched school budgets have led to a reduction in support and pastoral staff in some schools – does reduced support for vulnerable children lead to greater amounts of time out of school?

“What affect is the increasing level of deprivation, faced by some families, on regular school attendance. For example housing, temporary accommodation, use of food banks, period poverty, lack of uniform.”

Councils have the power to prosecute parents who fail to make sure their child regularly attends school.

Parents can be fined up to £60, or £120 if it is not stumped up within 21 day. The council issued 238 fines last year, up from 186 the year before.

The report, which suggests ways the council can try and improve attendance, will be debated next Thursday, January 17.