Birmingham's crackdown on truancy has been praised by education ministers.
Education Minister Stephen Twigg said the city was leading the way in the campaign to improve attendance.
He was quizzed by city MP SiUn Simon (Lab Erdington) in the House of Commons as police and city council officials took part in a blitz on truancy.
Mr Twigg praised the city's innovative fixed penalty scheme, which so far has seen 800 parents threatened with on-the-spot fines for failing to keep their children in school.
This month teams of police and educational welfare officers are carrying out sweeps of shopping centres and known truancy hotspots, looking for pupils who should be in school.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Simon pointed out that Birmingham's approach had been praised in a recent report by the National Audit Office.
He said: "All the anecdotal evidence from schools, the youth service and related agencies, and the police in my constituency, shows that the worst culprits, and those causing the most trouble when not at school, are at school more than they used to be."
Mr Twigg told him: "I have particular praise for schools in Birmingham, where there has been a significant fall in the number of absences.
"The figure is now 5.38 per cent, one of the lowest in the country for an urban area.
"That demonstrates the success of schools working together through the behaviour improvement programme, and the importance of not relying on statistics alone but ensuring that quality measures are in place.
"We have introduced a number of other measures, such as fast-track prosecutions and fixed penalty notices. Birmingham has been at the forefront in using fixed penalty notices.
"I am confident that, in Birmingham, part of the reason for the significant improvement that I described is the way in which schools and local authorities have engaged positively with parents in the process."
Sir David Normington, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education, also praised the city in a recent Parliamentary hearing.
Giving evidence to the Commons Public Accounts Committee, he said: " Birmingham has been using fixed penalty notices very well and has had a concerted approach. Birmingham has really been tackling this".