An increasing number of children in Denmark are skipping school, according to recent data from the Education Ministry.
The figures showed that absenteeism has gone up in all schools and grades in the Scandinavian country, with many pupils now missing more than 20 days of school a year.
Absenteeism was at its greatest at Jutland’s Vejle Midtby Skole, where pupils skipped an average of 20.5 days in the 2012-13 school year, which is equal to a full educational year between grades 0 and 9.
Andreas Rasch-Christensen, a researcher at VIA University College, described the fact that some students were missing 20 days as “worrying”, pointing out that it was damaging “socially and academically” when a student misses so much school.
Meanwhile, Vejle Midtby Skole’s head teacher Anne Gulbech said she was fully aware of the problems at the school. She explained that there is a group of pupils who they find it extremely difficult to get to turn up at school and a number of students who have become disenchanted with school and have stopped coming. The school has hired a professional counsellor to discuss the worrying trend with the parents of the regular absentees.
Rasch-Christensen explained that pupils who miss school too often risked becoming ostracised by society as they are “not as talented as their peers”.
The average student in the country misses 11.4 days of school per year: 6.8 as a result of illness, 3 because of leave of absence days and 1.6 of which are classed as without permission.
Tags: Denmark schools, education in Denmark, absenteeism at Danish schools, Danish students, jutland, via university college