UUP candidate Roy Beggs MLA has pledged to continue working to enable more young people to reach their full potential amid high absenteeism.
He commented: “The numbers of young people continuing to be referred to the Educational Welfare Officers for high levels of absenteeism must be of concern to us all.
“Absenteeism from school will result in lower educational achievement and may lead to difficulty in gaining a place in Further and Higher Education or even being accepted onto an apprenticeship.”
The Ulster Unionist candidate is a founding member of Horizon SureStart has been involved in gaining educational funding and support for parents in parts of Larne and Carrickfergus.
Mr Beggs continued: “The latest figures indicate in some areas of Larne and Carrickfergus one quarter of post primary school pupils are being referred because of missing more than one day in seven from school.
“Increasingly it is being once more recognised that ‘it takes a village to educate a child.’
“It takes the school, the home and the local community valuing education and all working together, so that every child can reach their full potential. “As a public representative I will continue to support the efforts of organisations such as SureStart, local community and voluntary groups, parents and schools so that education is valued and more of our young people can benefit from education and have greater opportunities in their later life.
“Having highlighted the problem of absenteeism over the past decade, I am pleased that we are now seeing some improvement in school attendance.
“This is particularly apparent in the primary school figures.
“I am particularly encouraged by the efforts of parents and the local community to enable their young people to strive for better educational outcomes. “This will pay dividends in later life.”