The Department for Education (DfE) in England is consulting on “improving consistency of support” for families and schools on attendance issues, and is also asking schools to “sign up to a new real-time attendance data collection trial”.
Voice Community will be taking part in the consultation (which closes on 28 February 2022) but would like your feedback.
We have a number of concerns already, including:
- the nature of the trial and the collection of data;
- if this is really about supporting families and schools or punishing non-attendance;
- LA Attendance Officer funding has been cut so who will go to find the pupils?;
- the underlying issues affecting attendance;
- how this will affect pupils with long-term illness or who require regular treatment, and whether they will be pressured to attend by this policy;
- if schools will feel they need to exclude pupils with poor attendance;
- the support available for pupils who have anxiety or are school-phobic – forcing them into school will not solve the problem and may trigger other behavioural issues; and
- schools with the best attendance policy have strong relationships with their community, but these proposals seem aggressive and antagonistic, potentially undermining support from parents.
If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0800 389 6332.