Leading article: Truancy watch

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The Independent Online

Truancy is on the rise among secondary-school pupils despite a £16m government crackdown to keep them in lessons. This is a severe blow to ministers who have launched a raft of anti-truancy measures over the last two years and who blamed a "hardcore" of persistent truants for the problem, arguing that just 2 per cent of the pupils were responsible for half of all truancy. The question is how to tackle these truants if the current drive has had no effect. Ministers are pinning their hopes on Mike Tomlinson's long-awaited review. Will the new vocational lessons capture the interest of disaffected teenagers who truant at the moment because they are bored at school? Let's hope so.