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.
Please let the education policy team know your views as soon as possible.
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.