Let’s talk truancy…
Last month, a Manchester based Co-op school hit the BBC News headlines for its radical transformation from struggling school, with one of the worst truancy records in the UK, to a school in the top 1% for attendance.
The principal, Steve Brice, stated a radical improvement on attendance was a key part of turning the school around. Their ‘no nonsense and no excuses’ policy on attendance includes home visits, a school bus to collect students with poor attendance records and a zero-tolerance attitude towards truancy.
The co-operative run school is showcased as a shining example of how a school can transform a negative reputation based primarily on an attitude towards attendance.
While the school should be praised for their improvements, truancy remains a major issue for hundreds of schools across the country. According to a Department for Education National Statistics study on pupil absence in England, more than one in ten pupils were persistently absent during autumn 2017. The total number of days missed due to overall absence across state-funded primary and secondary schools increased from 19.6 million in autumn 2016 to 20.1 million in autumn 2017.
As many school leaders will recognise, adopting a ‘no nonsense’ attitude towards truancy will only get you so far; students are still late to school or fail to attend at all, resulting in a direct impact on their education. Working with parents to combat the issue can be tricky, particularly when it comes to communicating with hard-to-reach parents. With increasing workload and student population, tight budgets and a demand for efficiency, schools can only do so much.
Truancy Call is proven to support schools to not only reduce unauthorised absence and improve punctuality, but to free up valuable staff time by performing first-day contact on behalf of the school. This means no more phone calls to make, texts to send or emails to write up! As a result, your school could also save money on expensive phone calls, texts and print and paper costs, protecting the school budget whilst improving attendance.
With data drawn dynamically from your school’s MIS, Truancy Call identifies those students who are absent or late. Schools also have the option to filter the data down further, allowing you to remove parents or guardians who don’t require messages.
Truancy Call receives over a third of parental responses out of school hours, allowing hard-to-reach and busy parents to engage with your school at a time convenient for them, improving responses and strengthening school/home relationships in the long term. Truancy Call is also free for parents, ensuring total social inclusivity when it matters most.
Truancy Call has proven to support schools to drastically improve attendance rates. To find out more or to arrange a demo, please contact our friendly team today on 03333 131415.