Всероссийский конкурс исследовательских работ учащихся
«Шаги в Науку»
Тема: «Проблема прогулов в школах России и Британии»
МКОУ «Аннинская СОШ с УИОП»
Кузнецова М.В., учитель английского языка
г. Обнинск, 2014 учебный год
1. Introduction p 3
2. What is truancy? p 4-5
2.1. How did the phrase “to play truant” come? p 4
3. Why do students skip school? p 6-7
4. Truancy in the UK p 8-12
4.1. Parents' fault p 9
4.2 What are the consequences of truancy? p 11-12
4.3 Combating Truancy p 11-12
4.4 The result of the struggle p 7-8
5. Truancy in Russian schools p 9-10
5.1 Truancy at my school p 9
6. Conclusion p 11
7. Bibliography p 12
Every day million of students play truant and miss their classes. Some of them don’t want to come back to school after their holidays. Actually, truancy is the great problem of our society. It deals to cruel actions. Surveys show that most children who miss their classes without good reasons have more problems with alcohol, fights, drugs, killings and other kinds of violence. If a child is persistently absent from school without permission of their parents, the behavior may mean that he is unsuccessfully struggling with some troubles. In my research I tried to learn and compare the main reasons of truancy not only in Russia but in Britain. Truancy is a problem sweeping not just the UK but the entire world. Every day millions of students play truant and miss their classes. In this work I want to answer the following questions: What is truancy? Why do students play truant? How does truancy affect schools and education? How can we prevent truancy? However, unwilling to attend a school is only consequence, but it isn’t a course. This work presents a complex approach to the study of this subject. I have used information from the Internet, British and Russian magazines and newspapers.
The purpose of the work is to research the problem of truancy in schools of Russia and Britain.
The main goals of my research are:
1) to explain the history of the word “truancy.”
2) to use and learn the documentary, nonfiction literature on the topic ;
3) to learn statistic facts, connected with the problem in Russia and Britain;
4) to analyze and to classify reasons of truancy among teenagers;
The subject of my study is truancy in British and Russian schools.
The hypothesis of the study: Let’s assume that the problem of truancy is exists in Russia and in Britain.
The topicality of the research:
I’m sure that my work is actual nowadays. This problem worries parents, teachers, students, society in the whole. The number of students who miss classes without good reasons is increasing from year to year. Thus, criminal actions among young people are increasing too. This problem must be solved by everybody who desires to live in a successful and a happy society. This work will be actual till we solve this social problem.
The structure of the work is as follows:
The first part is devoted to an origin of the words “truant”, “truancy”, play truant.”
The second part presents theoretical research on the problem of truancy in schools.
The third part presents the results of the survey. This method helps to display the problem of truancy.
2.What is truancy?
Truancy is any intentional unauthorized or illegal absence from compulsory education. The term describes absences caused by students of their own free will, and usually does not refer to legitimate "excused" absences, such as ones related to medical conditions. The term's exact meaning differs from school to school, and is usually explicitly defined in the school's handbook of policies and procedures. Some children whose parents claim to "homeschool" have also been found truant in the United States.
Students who attend school but do not go to classes are considered cutting class.
In some schools truancy may result in not being able to graduate or to receive credit for class attended, until the time lost to truancy is made up through a combination of detention, fines, or summer schools.
2.1How did the phrase “to play truant” come?
The origin of the word “play” is unknown Play (v) from Middle Germanic “plegan”/ Middle Dutch “pleyan”, to play at, rejoice in, becomes the opposite of work by the 14th century “play the truant”(Shakespeare, Comedy of Errors) to be inconstant, to shirk duty. If a child’s duty is to attend school regularly, then play and truant form together the opposite of constant duty. Also, pretend to be a beggar/ vagabond/idler, to rejoice in not working, etc. ” Play the truant” becomes “play truant.”
We can find phrase “play the truant” in “Comedy of Errors”, by Shakespeare.
If the child’s duty is to attend school regularly, then play and truant form together the opposite of constant duty. Also, pretend to be a beggar / vagabond/idler is not working. “ Play the truant” becomes “ play truant”.
Shakespeare has a reference to playing truant, in this sense, in Sonnet CI.:
O truant Muse what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Here “truant” could be either a noun or an adjective, and its meaning is probably defined by neglect in the following line. The Muse has neglected her duty (of praising the youth) as a truant neglects his duty to society, or by missing school. There is also a secondary meaning of “being unfaithful”, as in :
“tis double wrong, to truant with your bed”CE.III.2.17.
where “truant ”is used as a verb, in the sense of “to play truant with”, “to abscond from.”
We can find out the phrase “play truant” in Love’s Labour’s Lost when Shakespeare describes the young Biron as speaking in such gracious words:
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse. (2.1.78)
He has unconsciously given not only an excellent description of himself, but the measure of all Literature, which makes us play truant with the present world and run away to live awhile in the pleasant realm of fancy.
3. Why do students skip school?
Truancy is an educational, social and law enforcement problem. Truancy is a symptom: it is a result of one or more factors in a child’s life which prevent regular school attendance .Students play truant for a variety of reasons. During the work, I decided to find out the reasons why children do not attend school. Using additional data, I found that children truancy in following reasons:
The causes of absenteeism of students are
1. Lack of Subject Interest
2. Lack of Personal Interest in studies.
3. Available opportunities for entertainment like malls, movie halls etc.
4. The mental capacity of a students does not matches with the the course opted.
5.Too much Pamperness from family.
6. The poor teaching skills of a teacher also keep away student from the school.
7. Lack of confidence
8. Ragging also cause absenteeism
9. Lack of allied activities also causes absenteeism like no sports program,no freshers or farewell parties ,no annual day celebration etc.
10.Poor food of canteen may also be consider as one of the reason for absenteeism.
11.Poor infrastructure facility in school such as no place in a library to sit is also one of the reason of absenteeism.
12. Most of the students are doing private coaching s for their entrance examinations such as medical engineering or are preparing for their board exam,s through private tuition causes absenteeism in school & college.
13 Excess of homework and sometimes fear from examination keep away students from school/college.
14 Preparation for the participation in TV shows in dance musical or acting, G.K. contest programs also increase the percentage of absenteeism.
15. Preparation for examination causes absenteeism.
16. If school or college is far off the percentage of absenteeism may increase.
17. Over expectation of parents also deteriorate the attendance of a student when s/he is unable to cope with parent nature of making comparison among their own children of with the friends of their child.
18. Too much socialization causes absenteeism. It mostly happens during teen age and college when the students forms a group to freak out .
19 .When more than desired facilities are provided by parents such as CAR, Mobiles, High Amount of Money as Pocket Money the student start enjoying those facilities and becomes absent.
4. Truancy in the UK.
Truancy is a serious problem in many countries. Latest Government figures reveal truancy is at record high in the UK. British government has paid much attention to absenteeism.
Statistics for academic year (to July 2009), show the rate of unauthorised absence rose by almost 4%.
That means that 1.05% of school sessions were missed without permission - up from 1.01%.The government confirms that the truancy rate is at its highest level, but says that overall absence from school has fallen to a record low.
This is explained by fewer children missing school with permission.
When truancy and authorised absence are taken together, the overall absence rate is 6.27% - a slight fall on the previous year's level of 6.29%.
The government has been trying to clamp down on truancy and parents have been prosecuted for letting their children miss school - but it is proving a hard nut to crack.
When Labour came to power in 1997, the annual rate of unauthorised absence was 0.7% - a constant figure since 1994.
Schools Minister Vernon Coaker said: "Overall absence has again fallen to a record low. Every day over 70,000 more pupils are now in school than would be the case if absence rates were still at the level of 1996/97.
"Schools are, quite rightly, cracking down on absence. Weak excuses for missing school, such as over-sleeping or a day's holiday, are no longer accepted - so it's no surprise that with this tougher approach there is a slight rise in unauthorised absence.
"Ultimately it is down to parents - not schools. Parents have a clear duty to ensure that their child is in school and are not simply allowing them to miss their education."
He said one-fifth of absences were by pupils known as "persistent truants" and that head teachers were targeting that group.
There has been progress in this area, particularly in secondary schools. The rate of persistent absentees in secondary schools is 5%, down from 5.6% in the previous year.
Across all schools, the rate of persistent absentees fell from 3.6% to 3.3%.
Children in special schools and those on free school meals are more likely than others to be persistent truants.
The figures - released by the Department for Children, Schools and Families - show that the rate of truancy at England's secondary schools stayed the same as in 2007/08, but that the rate rose in England's primary schools.
Truancy rates are highest in the country's "special schools", which include Pupil Referral Units, where children are taught if they leave or are expelled from mainstream school.
Children with special educational needs or disabilities are also taught in special schools.
Across England, areas with high levels of absenteeism include Manchester, Sandwell in the West Midlands and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Low levels of unauthorised absence (truancy) were found in Kingston-upon-Thames, Northumberland, Durham, West Sussex and Devon.
Across the UK, overall absence rates in Northern Ireland are similar to those in England, while those in Scotland and Wales are a little higher, at roughly 6.8%.
The opposition parties have attacked the government's record on truancy.
Shadow schools minister Nick Gibb said: "Despite over £1bn of spending the government has failed to tackle truancy. Unauthorised absences are at an all time high and 67,000 children miss school every day.
"Persistent absenteeism and truancy is linked with low levels of literacy and must be tackled. We will also allow schools to insist on enforceable home school contracts - so parents play their part in ensuring their children go to school."
Liberal Democrat schools spokesman David Laws said: "These figures are disgraceful. Despite Tony Blair promising to get a grip on this problem more than a decade ago, truancy levels have rocketed.
"It's obvious that Labour's top-down approach has failed. We need a more effective local approach involving parents, schools and the police."
But not all schools are shirkers. To be successful to get a decent education. A vivid example is Michelle Boorman Newspaper wrote about a model pupil, Michelle Boorman. The 18- year-old did not miss one of 2,660 school days. She said, “There is no secret as to why I have not had a day off sick in the whole of my school life .I love school so have never been tempted to have a day off or use feeling unwell as an excuse not to come in.” Michelle’s mother Vanessa said,” If she gets a cold, she works through it. When Michelle has been ill, it has been during school holidays” The teenager , who got four Ax s and five As at GCSE, played netball, tennis and golf and took a multi-vitamin tablet every day. She entered Kent University.
The rise in truancy is a sign of problems with discipline and behaviour in the education system.
4.2 What are the consequences of truancy?
Those students who do not attend school regularly are often taking the first step toward a lifetime of problems. Most experts believe that truancy is a powerful and accurate predictor of involvement in crime and violence. Boys and girls are equally likely to be truant. The average age of truant students is 15 years old, but some children begin skipping school as young as 10. Skipping school is a cry for help and a signal that the child is in trouble. Children who are habitual truants are more likely to engage in antisocial behaviors such as gang membership, alcohol use, drug use, high –risk sexual behavior, cigarette smoking, suicidal behaviors, theft and vandalism. Truant girls are more likely to become pregnant and drop out of school. Most habitual truants eventually enter the juvenile court system.
As adults, habitual truants have more employment and marital problems and are jailed far more often than non-truants. Truancy is a gateway to serious violent and nonviolent crime.
So, truancy brings consequences for the students, his or her peers, and his or her family.
Persistent absence is a serious problem for pupils. Much of the work children miss when they are off school is never made up, leaving these pupils at a considerable disadvantage for the remainder of their school career. There is also clear evidence of a link between poor attendance at school and low levels of achievement:
• Of pupils who miss more than 50 per cent of school, only three per cent manage to achieve five A* to Cs including English and maths.
• Of pupils who miss between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of school, only 35 per cent manage to achieve five A* to C GCSEs including English and maths.
• Of pupils who miss less than five per cent of school, 73 per cent achieve five A* to Cs including English and maths.
Charlie Taylor, the Government’s expert adviser on behaviour in schools, said:
As a teacher, I know how the poor attendance of pupils can disrupt their own learning and that of other pupils. Quickly these children begin to fall behind their friends and often fail to fill in gaps in their skills or knowledge – sometimes in basics like reading or writing.
Over time these pupils can become bored and disillusioned with education. These pupils are lost to the system, and can fall into anti-social behaviour and crime. That is why it is vital schools tackle absenteeism.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:
We know that children who are absent for substantial parts of their education fall behind their friends and struggle to catch up. By changing the threshold on persistent absence, we are encouraging schools to crack down on persistent absenteeism.
We will be setting out over the coming months stronger powers for schools to use if they wish to send a clear message to parents that persistent absence is unacceptable.
4.3 Combating Truancy.
Cutting truancy is one of the government’s education pledges. A number of initiatives have been introduced to tackle the problem including electronic registration and regular sweeps of town centres by police and education welfare staff.
Electronic registration systems are available with a choice of biometric, card or PIN technologies and have the capability to electronically record the presence, absence and lateness of students and staff in real-time. Electronic registration solutions encourage students to take responsibility and accountability for their own attendance. Once registered in the system , students simply record their attendance using their fingertip, card or a PIN on a specially designed unit. Biometric systems are often preferred by schools because unlike a card or PIN , a finger cannot be lost or forgotten! Biometric systems currently used in schools are based on fingertip recognition technology.
Most local education authorities employ education welfare officers (EWOs), sometimes called education social workers, to monitor attendance and help parents fulfill their responsibilities under the law. Welfare officers often visit families whose children fail to attend school regularly. These visits are the start of a process which may , in the worst cases, end with the family being
taken to court. Parents and carers have a duty in law to ensure their registered school age children are educated. Under the law children must receive schooling from the start of the term
after their fifth birthday to until the third Friday in June in the school year in which they turn 16. The local education authority may take legal proceedings against parents whose children do not regularly attend the school. The LEA can also take parents to court if their child is persistently late for school. Parents who fail to comply with court orders can be fined up to 2,500 and /or be put in prison for up to three months.
But truancy rates in the UK have not decreased since 1997 according to the National Audit Office, despite government spending of 885 m on the problem. Children lose five million days of their education each year through playing truant without the knowledge of their parents or through days off school taken with their parent’s blessing.
4.4 The result of the struggle
Unauthorised absences in secondaries have fallen, but they have increased in primaries
Unauthorised absences in state primary and secondary schools in England fell slightly last year.
Statistics published by the Department for Education show the percentage of half days missed fell to 1.04% in 2009-10 from 1.05% the year before.
While unauthorised absences in secondary schools fell from 1.49% in 2008-09 to 1.45% last year, primary schools saw a rise from 0.64% to 0.67%.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said absenteeism was "still too high".
The figures show unauthorised absences in special schools has improved from 2.14% of half days being missed in 2008-09 to 1.98% in 2009-10.
Continue reading the main story
Children who are absent for substantial parts of their education fall behind their peers”
Nick GibbSchools Minister
The statistics are likely to raise fresh concerns that parents are still taking pupils out of school during term time to take advantage of cheaper family holiday deals.
Family holidays were the second most commonly reported reason for absence. One in four days was not authorised by the school.
But the most common reason for absence is still illness, the figures show.
The figures also indicate 1.4% of girls in primary schools in 2009-10 were classified as persistent absentees (missing 64 or more half days a year, either authorised or unauthorised).
This compares to 1.5% of boys in primaries.
However, in secondary schools, girls were more likely to be persistent absentees - 4.6% compared to 4.2% of boys.
Of all pupils with a statement of special educational needs (SEN), 8.4% were persistent absentees. This is 4.7 times higher than the number of persistently absent pupils who did not have SEN.
More than half (52.3%) of all persistent absentees live in the 30% most deprived areas and account for 8.3% of all absence.
'Still too high'
Mr Gibb said that despite the "welcome" drop in secondary schools, absenteeism was "still too high".
"We know that children who are absent for substantial parts of their education fall behind their peers and can struggle to catch up," he said.
The government's Education Bill will "put teachers back in control of the classroom so pupils can learn without disruption and teachers have more power to tackle truancy", Mr Gibb said.
"Reducing truancy rates is critical to our objective of closing the attainment gap between those from poorer and wealthier backgrounds."
5. Truancy in Russian schools.
Officially, truancy is not a problem in Russia. We have no the governments’ reports on this problem. (There is no government scheme to address the issue – it has not crept up the agenda yet.). However, no official figures are available to show how many students play truant in our country every year.
In Soviet times the school system was extremely strict. It was in everyone’s interests to insure pupils turned up for classes. It helped that teachers were widely respected, and often feared. But today , schools are as divided as Russian society. In most schools teachers demand an official note to explain any absence, or call parents if a child fails to show-up. But in poorer and rural areas teenage truancy in particular is a growing concern .The problem there is compounded by the rise in “social orphans” and alcoholism.
Homelessness and neglect of children is a threat to Russia’s future, the threat to its national security. In our country the number of street children ranges from 2 to 5 million. This could cause serious political and social consequences .It is no accident in 2008 declared the Year of the Family, in 2009 declared the Year of the Youth and in 2010 declared the Year of the Teacher. Today, the government pays great attention to the problems of school. The important step towards solutions problems Neglect and Homelessness is prevention truancy lessons. In accordance with the Law of the Russian Federation “On Education”, the Federal law “On basics of prevention of child neglect and juvenile crime”, teachers identify children who are not attending or systematically missing school., take measures for their education, work with their parents. But it is not enough to prevent children from playing truant.
5.1 Truancy at my school
I decided to hold a survey among students at my school to find out what students think about truancy
I carried out a survey of students’ attitudes to the problem of truancy.
100 students from 9-11 classes were asked the following questions:
1. What do you think about truancy? Is it good or bad?
2. How often do you play truant?
3. Why do you play truant? Do your parents know about it?
4. What can we do to prevent from playing truant?
Key findings are as follows:
1. Every class that we asked has students who skipped lessons.
2. Girls play truant more than boys.
3. 15% of students think that truancy hasn’t led to more serious problems.
“I think it’s a normal part of a student’s life.”
“It’s something every kid has to try once.”
“Truancy is OK, nothing serious, just for fun.”
“Oh, it’s so exciting.”
85% think truancy is bad.
“Truancy is bad and student can’t do it because this is very bad for us and make our parents be disappointed.”
“I’ve never done things like this.”
4. Never skip school 40 % of the students.
5. Miss school from time to time 56 % of the students, each 11 student respondents do not go for some lessons. Usually these are subjects they find difficult or boring or where they clash with the teacher.
6. Research found that 44% of truanting pupils believe their parents knew they were absent.
7. A study list the top reasons given by students.
Hard to wake up to the first lessons.
Too tired during the day and therefore cannot go on past lessons.
They are not ready for the test or the lesson.
Do not like the subject.
There are more important, urgent matters than the school.
Do not like the teacher.
Only a reluctance to go to school.
Problems with family.
Problems with peers.
Bad relationships with teachers.
So, there are as many causes of truancy as there are students.
8. Most students think that teachers should inform parents about their children’s truancy. We use new technologies at my school such as Electronic Diary. It helps to combat truancy.
Reality shows that there are many reasons why pupils play truant and therefore there needs to be many remedies. But there is one argument which says that truancy has, and will, always be a fact of life. In conclusion, I’d like to notice some facts which I’ve known during my research activity. During my research I have learned a lot of information sources. At first I learned much information about problems of truancy in Russia. After that I worked with statistic facts, connected with the same trouble in Britain. Then I thoroughly analyzed and compared them. Analyzing my research, I came to conclusion that methods of struggle of such problem in Russia and Britain are different. It seems to me methods of solving this problem are more improved in Britain than in our country. If I’m not mistaken Russia should take an experience from Britain. The fundamental rules of behavior are taken from school. The words of the greatest Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov “ our heads are in a mess”. The results of surveys show that students, missing their classes, demonstrate poor results in education. But future of every country depends on future generation. I’m absolutely sure, that the government should take care of the youth as much as possible.
1. The newspaper «The first of September», № 3 2012, Publishing House
2. The magazine «Foreign languages at school» № 1 2011
3. The newspaper «The first of September», № 5 2010, Publishing House
4. The elective course «Problems of the youth» A.S. Lukina, «Teaching Publishing», 2010
5. «In the world of English» S. D. Romanova «Teaching Publishing», 2012
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