69,000 kids bunk school every day in Britain

The rise is partly blamed on more recession-hit families taking kids on holiday during term time.

An increase in primary school pupils skipping classes without permission pushed up the absentee rate in England and Wales, the department of education said.

But in secondary schools, the number of kids taking time off fell slightly. And overall days lost at all schools, both authorised and unauthorised, also fell.

In addition to truancy, taking time off for family holidays and sicknesses are counted as unauthorised absence.

Around 1.4 million days were lost to taking holidays in the spring.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb welcomed the small drop in the overall absence rate.

But he said: "The level is still too high. It's crucial that children are not missing out on valuable lessons that could leave them vulnerable to falling behind. We are putting in place a series of measures to raise standards."

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