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Management of Truancy

NCJ Number
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Volume: 26 Issue: 3 Dated: (1985) Pages: 325-331
I Berg
Date Published
7 pages
This article discusses truancy in the United Kingdom (UK), the causes, and ways of managing it.
Truancy is described as unjustified absence from school. All children in the UK are obliged by law to be properly educated until the age of 16 years. Surveys have shown a large variation in the severity and persistence of truancy. Occasional infrequent truancy appears to be quite common; however, severe and persistent truancy is much less prevalent. Truancy has been found to be associated with age, sex, home environment, the particular school the child is supposed to attend, poor educational achievement, delinquency, and psychiatric disturbance. Two main varieties of conduct disorders co-exist with truancy. The most distinctive disturbance is characterized by aggressive behavior, defiance, destructiveness, and other evidence of poor relationships between the affected child and adults, as well as other children. The other may be equated with subcultural delinquency since it features stealing, staying away from home, and associating with undesirable companions. Truancy is dealt with by a variety of different agencies including schools, who play the most important part in management of truancy, educational welfare officers, whose principal function is to help enforce compulsory school attendance; and the juvenile courts, who employ the adjournment procedure. This involves magistrates simply adjourning the court proceedings for a specified period of time, and then reviewing the child's progress in achieving a reasonable level of school attendance. A considerable proportion of children respond well to this procedure. Other ways of managing truancy include sending children to a local authority observation and assessment center, psychological treatment, and behavior modification techniques. 44 references.