Commenting on his exchange with Mark Drakeford during First Minister’s Questions this afternoon, Welsh Conservative Leader, Andrew RT Davies MS said:
“Today I challenged the First Minister on rising absenteeism across schools in Wales. Worrying statistics show it’s up to 16% of all students who are classed as persistently absent and 36% for those on free school lunches.
“A day out of school is a day of opportunity lost, so today I asked the First Minister to commit to looking at a Mental Health Absent Code so that proper guidance can support schools in dealing with the growing issue of absenteeism, providing much needed, targeted support to our young people.
“In Wales, we have no Mental Health Absence Code, meaning that if students are off for mental health issues, often they are penalised and simply marked as absent.
“We know that the mental health of our young people has suffered since COVID, so it's pleasing to hear today from the First Minister that the Welsh Government will consider our proposal of developing a Mental Health Absent Code for schools in Wales.”
“The taskforce set up to deal with this should respond to this recommendation in a timely manner so that schools and young people can be offered the support they need.”