THE secondary schools in Fife with the best attendance for pupils are Dunfermline High and Woodmill.

An interim report, with figures up to April, showed that 89.8 per cent and 89.4 per cent of all learners turned up for lessons.

However Fife Council's education scrutiny committee was also told that around 150 S4 pupils are "at risk" of failing to master basic reading, writing and numerical skills.

A report by Carrie Lindsay, executive director of education and children’s services, explained: “There is a well evidenced link between attainment and school attendance.  

“We know that good attendance at school is a key factor in supporting improved outcomes for young people.

"Post-pandemic all local authorities are reporting that there has been a decrease in attendance across Scotland, which is reflected in Fife’s attendance overall.” 

The average attendance rate across the Kingdom is 86.7 per cent with St Columba's (88.9), Queen Anne (87.9) and Inverkeithing (87.8) all exceeding expectations.

At the other end of the scale, Levenmouth Academy and Lochgelly High had the lowest attendance rates, 81.7 per cent and 80.6 per cent respectively.  

Ms Lindsay drew links between poverty and attendance / attainment results as one explanation for regional differences. 

Her report said that, across Fife, 154 students  – 3.7 per cent of the overall S4 roll – are projected as “at risk” of not achieving SCQF level 3 literacy this year.

This involves reading, listening to and understanding "simple" word-based texts or communication and writing basic text.

And 141 pupils are projected as “at risk” of not achieving SCQF level 3 numeracy, which tasks children with mastering basic number skills. 

Ms Lindsay wrote: “The group most likely not to attain are young people who are in the Department of Additional Support (DAS)."

Council education officers predict that 61.4 per cent of DAS S4 pupils will not attain literacy at SCQF level 3 and 56.4 per cent will not pass numeracy at SCQF level 3. 

And they pointed out that the DAS is composed of learners who would previously have been separated at “special schools.” 

Ms Lindsay's report continued: “SCQF 4 is quite a high level for DAS kids.

"Some might not realistically be able to achieve that, but it’s about the experience. We created DAS to keep kids within their community.” 

She emphasised the action the education service is taking to help with attendance and attainment. 

“Where learners are identified as being off track, schools plan appropriate interventions,” Ms Lindsay's report said. 

Final attainment and attendance figures will be available in November.